Understanding People in Context: The Ecological Perspective in Counseling

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9781556202872: Understanding People in Context: The Ecological Perspective in Counseling

This unique book emphasizes applications for individual counseling, group work, and community counseling that consider clients as individuals within the contexts of families, cultural groups, workplaces, and communities. The ecological perspective is a strengths-based approach to well-being that integrates diverse theoretical models under one conceptual framework and assists counselors in deciding when, where, and how to use various change strategies. It highlights the interactional nature of human behavior and the importance of meaning making in helping clients cope with challenges and develop more satisfying and productive lives.


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 own work discuss their distinct version of the ecological perspective and how it is useful in counseling with diverse client populations; in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning; in schools; in substance abuse programs; and in faith-based communities. Implications for counselor training are also examined.

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Review:

“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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Cook, Ellen P.
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