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Understanding People in Context: The Ecological Perspective in Counseling

ISBN: 978-1-119-02654-9
317 pages
January 2015
Understanding People in Context: The Ecological Perspective in Counseling (1119026547) cover image


This exceptional book emphasizes uniquely designed interventions for individual counseling, group work, and community counseling that consider clients as individuals within the contexts of families, cultural groups, workplaces, and communities. Part I describes the theoretical research base and major tenets of the ecological perspective and its applications to counseling practice. In Part II, experts who have used the ecological perspective in their work discuss its usefulness in various applications, including counseling diverse clients with specific life challenges; assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning; and in schools, substance abuse programs, faith-based communities, and counselor training programs.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

About the Editor ix

About the Contributors xi

Part I Understanding the Ecological Perspective

1 Introduction 3
Ellen P. Cook

2 Behavior Is Personal 11
Ellen P. Cook

3 Behavior Is Contextual 37
Ellen P. Cook

4 Behavior Is Interactional 67
Ellen P. Cook

5 Behavior Is Meaningful 99
Ellen P. Cook

6 Behavior Is Changeable 129
Ellen P. Cook and Susannah C. Coaston

Part II Applying the Ecological Perspective

7 Diversity From the Ecological Perspective 161
Mei Tang and Huma Bashir

8 Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning From the Ecological Perspective 179
F. Robert Wilson

9 School Counseling 207
Jeri Crowell, Kerry E. Sebera, and Susannah C. Coaston

10 Counseling in Context: Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse Programs 229
Albert L. Watson, Nzingha Dalila, Jill Gomez, Greta Hochstetler Mayer, Steven W. Patrick, and Michael D. Brubaker

11 Working With Faith-Based Communities in Ecological Counseling 259
Joseph A. Stewart-Sicking and Wairimu Wanjau Mutai

12 Counseling in Context: Counselor Training 279
Michelle Flaum Hall and Geoffrey G. Yager

Afterword 297
Ellen P. Cook

Index 303

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“Dr. Ellen Cook and her colleagues depict an ecological perspective in understanding human behavior and provide elegant applications of ecological theory in practice settings. This is an enormous contribution and one they have accomplished with great depth and clarity. Understanding the highly nuanced and powerful role of human ecology is of critical importance in training the next generation of counselors.” —Mary J. Heppner, PhD University of Missouri–Columbia

“This book is a wonderful contribution to the literature, bringing forward a critical issue in counseling with new perspectives. A must read for mental health professionals and students who want to better understand and apply the broader ecological context of counseling in their work.” —Fred Bemak, EdD George Mason University

“This innovative, yet practical resource on ecological counseling for counselors and counselors-in-training provides a clear method for applying ecological principles to counseling, community work, and the education of counselors. After reading this book, counselors will have a better understanding of themselves and how to enhance their effectiveness with clients.” —Karen O’Brien, PhD University of Maryland, College Park

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