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Why is it Important to Evaluate Strengths and Limitations? 

Please no plagiarism and make sure you are able to access all resource on your own before you bid. One of the references must come from Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015) and/or Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). I have also attached my discussion rubric so you can see how to make full points. Please respond to all 3 of my classmates separately with references.

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Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. Respond to your colleagues’ postings.

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

· Ask a probing question.

· Share an insight gained from having read your colleague’s posting.

· Offer and support an opinion.

· Validate an idea with your own experience.

· Make a suggestion.

· Expand on your colleague’s posting.

1. Classmate A. Mo

Overview of Population and Adolescent Issue

I would like to work in the African American community and specifically those in low-income neighborhoods. Since I am African American, I know that my culture tends to hold things in instead of receiving help. There are also not enough African American counselors so I want to be a part of the change. I know how to speak of my culture when I say that we have been through a lot from racism, systematic racism, discrimination (house loans, car loans, jobs, etc). All of these things that we deal with on a daily basis creates PTSD.

African Americans are less likely to utilize healthcare treatment or counseling as a result of historical factors, including the mistreatment of African Americans in medical trials, institutional racism, and a lack of equitable medical services across racial groups (Evans, Hemmings, Burkhalter, and Lacy, (2016). Another issue that I would possibly like to work with is adolescents who have been molested because I have been and have witnessed the effect that it has mentally, physically, and emotionally on growth. So often the effects that it has on a child’s life is ignored and there have been no real interventions for sexual abuse (Larson, (1993). The child feels betrayed and is in rage because the abuser betrayed her physical and psychological integrity. While this article is old, it touches me because this was the year that I was born. I know there have been since then more research that I can review but I wanted to first present the problem that I personally still see today in 2018.

Strengths and Limitations

I believe my strength to be an empath is what will make me a great counselor. I have the ability to empathize and sympathize with others. When people are telling me their story, I can almost picture myself being there and I can generally feel their pain through my body. It can be a blessing and a curse because I know that I have to be careful of how I show my emotions to their story. One limitation that I may have is the love for research. Right now, I do not have the love for research as I think I should. I like to try new things and don’t really like to look at the same thing over again. I would need to find a way to make research fun and liberating for me.

Why is it Important to Evaluate Strengths and Limitations?

I believe that it is important for me to evaluate myself when becoming a counselor because I can work on things now to become a better me and counselor. I believe in order to help others, I have to also be real with myself to enhance in internal growth. How can I tell someone else to work on themselves or to try something new if I am not willing to do so? Being able to evaluate my strengths gives me courage, motivation, and it’s a reminder of who I am. I believe that we can be so hard on ourselves, so thinking of our strengths reminds me how great I am.

I believe that also thinking of my strengths and limitations reminds me that I am human and to continue to do internal work. Yes, I will be a counselor and no, I won’t be a perfect counselor. I believe it will allow me to see that when I am working with my clients. I have to remember that they are not perfect and I can’t treat them like a robot. I must remember this. I know that I will be working on myself for eternity and I want my clients to know this as well. Making mistakes only presents guided tools for your continuous journey in life.


Larson, L. R. (1993). Betrayal and Repetition: Understanding aggression in sexually abused girls

Evans, M. A., Hemmings, C., Burkhalter, C., Lacy, Virginia. (2016). Responding to race-related

trauma: counseling and research recommendations to promote post-traumatic growth

when counseling African American males

2. Classmate N. Pra

Children and adolescence can be very resilient individuals, who live in starkly different worlds than adults. Psychologically and therapeutically speaking, children, adolescents, and adults all need different approaches to curb unwanted thoughts and behavior. This includes speaking differently, the topics of the conversation, the activities during the therapy session, and many other facets. Each client, in their stage of life, has a different dynamic that brings new experiences to the table both for themselves, and for the therapist (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007).


The population I would like to work with would be any adolescent who struggles with an eating disorder, LGBT issues, self-injurious behaviors/suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. I would prefer to speak with those who are older than twelve, although I would not be opposed to treating a younger child who also exhibits these symptoms. I have experience throughout my personal life, and current career with these particular struggles. A few of these issues remain a foundation into why I began a counseling career, and continue to drive me to help those who struggle.

Strengths and Limitations

The DSM-5 has completely redefined diagnoses, and symptoms across a lifespan. Counselors also must continually redefine themselves to adjust to their environment (Flamez & Sheperis, 2015). One strength that I possess is that I am dedicated, especially to my client’s and their wellbeing. In this dedication, I welcome the differences that the client may bring to the table, and sympathize with their struggles. A limitation that may arise could be that in my search to strengthen the therapeutic relationship with an adolescent, I may become too empathetic and lose my objectivity. This could hinder the therapeutic process and the ultimate success of the client’s future.


Keeping self aware of my strengths and limitations will help me to become a better person, and a better counselor. The more I know what to look for during the counseling process, to either continue or stray from, will help my clients and their success. I have no fear that I will remain open to the client and their differences and create a positive environment in which they can grow and process their experiences in life.


Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

3. Classmate A. Mat

Description of the population

Counseling children and adolescents have been determined to remain a task worthy of therapists with additional skills. Children and adolescents are named “special populations” due to numerous challenges and barriers in promoting successful treatment. The nature of an individual that is in a normal process of building the psychosocial development and also needs help and guidance during this process, proved to be a tough call (Halasz 2017).

For many years I trained and developed in working with adolescents. From the beginning of my career, I had a preference for working with challenging adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18. I was drawn towards study and training in working with a population that is resistant to advise, rebellious in front of rules, and disregards authority figures. The challenge posed by such a clientele, and the hope I have the skills to be successful where other failed, gave me the motivation to study some of the most intriguing cases of juvenile delinquency. In addition, my preference is working with clients that present dual diagnoses, such as addiction/violent behavior and mental health issues. I am confident that there are many unexplored avenues when it comes to youth with mental health problems and, before they became perpetrators, they were victims first. With such a population, the greatest challenge a therapist’s faces are the therapeutic alliance (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007). In the absence of an alliance, there can be no therapy. The therapist’s awareness of developmental issues and defense mechanisms are utilized to guide one along the pathway of productive therapy. Over time I build particular skills in creating an alliance and while counseling the trust between a teenager and the counselor is the greatest joy I experience in my work.

The adolescent issue with which you might be interested in working and explain why

I will consider being most interested to work with adolescent coming from families with mental health issues, adolescents who themselves have been diagnosed as having mental health needs, such as Conduct disorder, depression disorders, anxiety disorders especial different phobias. I also like working with more severe mental health diagnoses such as schizophrenia. I am interested in studying what age the client displayed the mental health problem, what were the conditions, as I will make detailed inquiries to families, friends, peers, school and other health providers (Flamez & Sheperis, 2015).

The reason is that on one side challenging and difficult cases are appealing and on the other side I have the confidence I can help alleviate most of the problems this type of clientele faces.

Then, describe one strength you possess that may contribute to your effectiveness as a counselor and one limitation you may need to address and explain why.

I consider my main strength to be the experience/cultural awareness, combined with empathy. While knowing that adolescents can function in a different world than the adult one (Flamez & Sheperis, 2015), I have found that I can relate very well to the adolescent mind and empathically understand their needs and dreams. Without claiming “I have been there or I have done that” (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007), I can create a therapeutic relationship without becoming friendly or stepping out of the therapist boundaries. I think this might be due to my complicate upbringing as a child when I had many unfulfilled dreams and bad experiences that I surpassed displaying strength and patience.

I can consider my limitation to be working with borderline personality disorder adolescent girls. This might be because while I am a direct, straightforward person, who uses a lot of energy to guide a client to discover an existentialist endeavor, a borderline personality adolescent girl will challenge my patience to the extreme.

Finally, explain why it is important for you to consider your strengths and limitations before working with this population.

The most important and the first thing a counselor should examine is his/her own strengths and weaknesses (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007). This is also one of the first advise every instructor gives to new students. Knowing what you are capable of, potentially enhances professional success, while helping clients to surmount difficulties. While properly assessing your skills and strengths, as a counselor you are making sure you adhere to the foundation of the principles of ethical behavior decision making expressed in ACA 2014: the counselor can foster the right direction for a client ‘c life, can avoid making harm and promoting client’s wellbeing, being honest and truthful and implying at all time cultural sensitivity (ACA, 2014).

Knowing your limitations and weaknesses as a counselor, you can strive to improve, if possible, you can avoid working with the population that you do not feel comfortable to work with and you can be honest with yourself and others. Genuine honesty should be one of the fundamental trends a counselor should display.


American Counseling Association (ACA). 2014 ACA Code of Ethics

Halasz, G. (2017). Special population – child and adolescent psychotherapy. AUSTRALASIAN PSYCHIATRY, 25(3), 222–224.

Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

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Required Resources

Learning Resources

Please read and view (where applicable) the following Learning Resources before you complete this week’s assignments.

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of the assigned resources for this week. To view this week’s media resources, please use the streaming media player below.

Accessible player  –Downloads– Download Video w/CC Download Audio Download Transcript


Course Introduction (located in the navigation bar to the left)

Flamez, B. & Sheperis, C. J. (2015). Diagnosing and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

· Chapter 1 “Conceptualizing DSM-5 Disorders in Children and Adolescents”

· Chapter 2 “Effective Strategies for Assessing DSM-5 Disorders”

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Tough kids, cool counseling: User-friendly approaches with challenging youth(2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

· Chapter 1, “Adventures in Child and Adolescent Counseling”

Document: Final Project Case Study


Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Child and adolescent counseling [Video file]. Retrieved from

“Introduction to Child and Adolescent Counseling” (approximately 1 minute)

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Getting Started [Interactive media]. Retrieved from


Optional Resources

Fitzpatrick, M. R., & Irannejad, S. (2008). Adolescent readiness for change and the working alliance in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(4), 438–445.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Tsai, M-H. & Ray, D. C. (2011). Children in therapy: Learning from evaluation of university-based community counseling clinical services. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 901–909.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Van Velsor, P. (2004). Revisiting basic counseling skills with children. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82(3), 313-318.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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