Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs provides a detailed description of techniques and rich stories of how social workers, psychologists, counselors, and child and youth care workers can help young people become more resilient. With ample case studies and fascinating explanations of research, Dr. Ungar shows why we need to work just as hard changing the environments that surround children as we do changing children themselves. Building on lessons learned from clinical, community and residential settings, Dr. Ungar discusses 20 skills that can enhance the effectiveness of frontline mental health services. Along with descriptions of the skills necessary to talk with clients about the factors that put their mental health at risk, Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs also presents systemic practices clinicians can use in their everyday work. Engaging with children's extended family, addressing issues of community violence, racism and homophobia, and helping parents and teachers understand children's maladaptive coping strategies as sometimes necessary are among the many practical strategies that are discussed which clinicians can use to enhance and sustain the therapeutic value of their work.
Michael Ungar, PhD, is a family therapist and professor of social work at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He is also the founder and co-director of the Resilience Research Centre, which coordinates large multisite research studies in over a dozen countries. Among his many contributions to his community have been his role as co-chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Advisory Committee, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and scientific director of the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network.
1. A Social Ecological Approach to Clinical Work 2. Why a Social Ecological Practice Works 3. Principles and Skills for a Social Ecological Practice 4. The First Set of Skills: Help Clients Navigate 5. The Second Set of Skills: Help Clients Negotiate 6. The Third Set of Skills: Integrate the Five Phases of Counseling 7. Perils and Pitfalls of Being a Counselor 8. Getting Our Organizations to Adopt an Ecological Approach to Clinical Practice, Case Management and Advocacy 9. The Counselor as Advocate