This book provides a comprehensive exploration of the challenges women may face as they navigate the multiple roles that they carry. Attention is given to the unique cultural identities that women embody and suggestions are provided to help counselors acknowledge the various aspects of each client’s intersectional identity. In addition to theory, we provide suggestions for practical application of relevant interventions and strategies for helping women achieve their goals. A foundation is provided that explore the multiple layers of development that occur during adolescence, adulthood, midlife, and older adulthood.
Women face numerous challenges related to identity development and relationships. These challenges can generate psychological and emotional distress that lead women to seek professional assistance in finding solutions to their issues. With more choices than in generations past, women can face unexpected and unanticipated challenges and barriers to their individual and relational development. This book is organized around contemporary developmental and relational rites of passage women experience in adulthood.
Traditional rites of passage include birth, menarche, marriage, and death. These events still hold significance but women’s lives today follow expanded and complex trajectories. Numerous transitions, such as attending college, navigating employment opportunities and the relational challenges that women face in various areas of life, are presented and addressed in this book from a clinician’s perspective providing practitioners with insight and practical knowledge.
In this book, we cover choices related to such topics as career, relationships, parenthood, and support networks. We also explore the struggles that women face including abuse, depression, anxiety, feelings of low self-worth, loss, and addictions.
Best practices in counseling women are highlighted and utilized in case study examples. The relationships created by women impact their lives and this book helps the reader to gain insight into how women can take ownership for their relationships and choices.
Counseling the Contemporary Women lives up to its title effectively through its emphasis on a wide range of present-day lifespan issues and lenses that highlight intersectionality, social justice, cultural considerations, and advocacy. Case studies bring intersectionality to life throughout the volume, and the chapters offer comprehensive, highly readable, thought-provoking, and practical insights for working with complex issues. Strengths of this volume also include its focus on the strengths as well as vulnerabilities of those who seek counseling and coverage of a variety of topics that are rarely covered in depth in counseling texts, such as women’s grief and loss issues over the lifespan.
— Carolyn Zerbe Enns, Cornell College
Counseling the Contemporary Woman is an exciting book that will be an excellent addition for courses on gender issues, diversity and inclusion, and women’s issues in counseling.
— Catherine B. Roland, past-president, American Counseling Association, Ed.D., LPC, NCC
It's difficult to find a book that doesn't pathologize womens’ experiences and instead focuses on how counselors can effectively support women who are navigating normal developmental transitions, but this book does just that. The practical, applied focus is refreshing and brings to life the ways counselors can support and empower women as they navigate the many hurdles life presents. It is obvious the authors have a deep respect and appreciation for women's lived experiences, and their compassionate, culturally and contextually-sensitive focus makes this text a valuable resources for all counselors who counsel women.
— Victoria Kress, Youngstown State University
Table of Contents
Part I: Foundational Perspectives and Theory
1 Re-envisioning the Feminine Ideal: Women are the Sum of Many Diverse Parts
Adrienne N. Erby
2 Integrating Feminist Theory into Counseling Practice
3 Integrating Relational Cultural Therapy into Counseling Practice
Part II: Development from Adolescence through Older Adulthood
4 Counseling Adolescent Girls
5 Counseling Emerging Adult Women
6 Counseling Midlife Women
7 Counseling Older Women
Part III: Career Counseling
8 Career Counseling over the Careerspan
Part IV: Counseling Concerns of Relational Focus
9 Counseling Women facing Family-of-Origin Issues
Lucy Parker and Dana Isawi
10 Counseling Contemporary Couples
Rebecca Meeks, Jessica Shull, Ana Ulloa Estrada, and Bonnie Cardillo
11 Counseling Women facing Contemporary Family Challenges
12 Counseling Women Survivors of Physical and Emotional Abuse
13 Counseling Strategies to Help Women Build Healthy Support Networks
Part V: Individual Concerns
14 Counseling Women with Body Image Concerns
Rachel Brandoff and Marcela Kepic
15 Counseling Women with Low Self-Esteem
16 Counseling Women with Depression
Marcela Kepic and Wendy Killam
17 Counseling Women with Anxiety
Lucy Parker and Nina Mendez
18 Counseling Women with Addictions
Part VI: Caring for Self and Caring for Others
19 Counseling with Chronic Illness and Disability
Yuleinys A. Castillo
20 Counseling Women who Caregive
Marcela Kepic and Kim Tassinari
Part VII: Coping with Grief and Loss over the Lifespan
21 Counseling Women who have Lost their Mothers
Suzy Wise and Elisa Woodruff
22 Counseling Women who have Lost a Partner
23 Counseling Women suffering from Fetal or Perinatal Loss
24 Counseling Women who have Lost a Child
About the Authors:
Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, is professor and chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. She is also a licensed counselor with expertise in counseling adults over the lifespan, especially women in transitions. She has written multiple books on relationships including friendships and family relationships. Dr. Degges-White is an invited blogger for Psychology Today and is a nationally consulted expert on women’s friendships and relationships.
Marcela Kepic, PhD, is associate professor of the Department of Disability and Psychological Studies at the University of Arizona. She is also a licensed professional counselor with expertise in counseling couples and adults over the lifespan. As an approved clinical supervisor, she mentors and supervises students, counselors, and future professional. Dr. Kepic contributes to peer-reviewed publications and books, and presents at national, regional, and state conferences.
Wendy Killam, PhD, is a professor and coordinator of the counseling and student affairs in higher education program in the Department of Human Services at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is also a licensed counselor with experience in counseling adults across the lifespan. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and enjoys working with college students. Dr. Killam has written peer reviewed publications and books in the field of counseling and student affairs.