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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Counseling, Politics and World Events by Dr. Tony Astro





Numerous environmental, political, economic, and societal events have occurred worldwide over the past several years that have had an impact on the functioning of society and as a result, in the counseling profession. Some of the recent events have some effect on our counseling profession and I would like to identify the contemporary counseling issues that affected me and may have evolved as a result. Economic turmoil is real, and it feeds fear among us and so is the entire country/citizens are apprehensive (Wharton, 2009). 

This will increase anxiety among clients who lost their career and hence need for more creative counseling. The demand for career counselors and therapist may increase, but their ability to repay the counselors (with client fee) and /or insurance requiring premium may also increase. The strength of counselors to accommodate and effectively counsel the demanding nature of counseling may negatively affect both clients and counselors. 

During the distressing events like wars, calamities, unemployment, political failure (like the previous elections with other candidates), a counselor Echterling recapped that his objective as a counselor was not to liberate vulnerable clients but rather to help people create their own survival stories, make sense of their skills or experience manage their emotions and rebuild shattered lives (Shallcross, 2011). 

The past and current election campaign and eventually who will be winning this election affects the counseling world in terms of accommodation of our clients through Medicare and Social Security issues of both candidates platform. In my case, as a career counselor and business consultant – the tax, student loan forgiveness (currently trending as President Trump may limit or scrap such programs) and diversity or racial unity in which I have been involved understanding the importance of Cultural Intelligence not just in the workplace but in all aspects of life. Legislative changes must take place on health plans as well as educational laws that deal with our licensed professional counselors. The American Counselors Association seeks help in contacting our Congressman and vote for the right candidate in the upcoming election. Despite being widely recognized by private sector health plans, licensed professional counselors have yet to be recognized under Medicare. 

When a client turns 65, counselors lose both their business and their income, and too many career counselors and therapist are denied contract, school, and hospital jobs because they cannot bill Medicare or have no budget for guidance counselor or career service provider. This issue affects the recognition of and respect for the counseling professions throughout the country--from rehabilitation and school counseling to professional counseling. (American Counselors Association) 

As an entrepreneur or independent career service provider, it is tough - with our economy and politics wrapped around the mind and budget of our clients, it is difficult to implement career guidance or counseling as our paid livelihood in this hard economic and vastly divided America. 

Reference: 

American Counselors Association website. Retrieve on October 19, 2008, at http://capwiz.com/counseling/issues/alert/?alertid=11789001 

Shallcross, L. (2011) “A Day That Changed a Nation and a Profession.” Counseling Today, 27 Dec. 2012, ct.counseling.org/2011/09/a-day-that-changed-a-nation-and-a-profession/. 

Wharton University (2009). Hope, Greed and Fear: The Psychology behind the Financial Crisis. Retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/hope-greed-and-fear-the-psychology-behind-the-financial-crisis/

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