I. Where Are We Going?
While reading this week’s assignment I contemplated issues the counseling profession may face in the future. After reading about multicultural awareness, one matter that came to mind was the increase number of gangs in the United States. According to the FBI, gangs contribute to about 48% of crime and include over 1.4 million American members as of 2011. With 33,000 gangs across America, counselors everywhere will be faced with people who are affected by gang related crime (FBI, 2014). How will we handle this gang war? This is a frightening issue in which I have no idea where to begin unraveling. What I do know is students in my school may be pressured to join a gang or already have. Being aware of these students and helping them before they make the life changing decision to join a gang is something I need to put on my top priority list.
Chapter 2 in The World of the Counselor suggests that counselors need to have increased understanding of differences (Neukrug, 2012). A major difference that has been filling the news recently is on same-sex marriage. I believe family counselors will see the biggest impact on this issue, as Christian families seek help for their loved ones. Same-sex marriages are not going away for 17 states have made it legal (Gaymarriage.procon.org, 2014). Professional counselors need to prepare by being non-bias while also help any family member dealing with disagreements over a recent same-sex marriage. The counselor needs to work against discrimination and uphold their high ethical standards.
II. A Look Toward the Future
A. Technology within the 21st century seems to be everywhere; people are constantly linked to the internet. It is no wonder the counseling profession is moving away from oral traditions to online counseling. With the change can bring positive and negative effects which are explained below.
One of the most obvious benefits of online counseling is convenience. Not all clients are able to meet with a counselor between normal business hours. People seeking help can access their computer any time of the day and receive help. Online counseling provides many services to clients that otherwise would be unwilling to receive it. The use of the internet also provides a large database for websites or blogs that just offer advice to people. Personally, I have read blogs on self-help tips in order to deal with certain situations. Like others, it makes me feel good to know I am not the only one going through a situation. People may be willing to ask for help but are often embarrassed. In the class article online, Shane Haberstroh et.al explains that the internet was first used for counseling suicide victims. The use of anonymous comments over the internet allows people to help each other but still keep their secret identity.
This leads to a drawback for online counseling; how does the professional or client know the information is accurate? A counselor/client relationship is built on...