Approaches to Counseling
In working with the freshman in higher education, there are five levels which can be coordinated into a meaningful basis for appropriate and wise decisions about drug use. These are:
Mental—which is concerned with intellectual function, reasoning, and logic.
Physical—which is concerned with general health, well-being, and sexual function.
Social—involves inter-personal relationships and personal attachments.
Emotional—involves feelings as well as psychological well-being.
Spiritual—is concerned with morals and ethics and with personal goals and meaning.
Specifically, we review the essence of mental functioning whose developing brain chemistry is in a fluid state. Drugs may affect short-term memory, including memory retrieval skills. Especially critical is the value of intellectual motivation. Planning for the future is essential to the mental well-being of the adolescent.
Sensory use is mandatory for development of the senses themselves. Physical activity can give one a natural “high.” Some of the relaxing properties as well as the ritual aspect can be achieved from swimming, spa use, showers, baths, especially when these water “therapies” are used at dawn, sundown, or the evening with candles lit. There is a need for physical movement. Experiences like walking and jogging in a natural setting are but a few to consider.
22Emotions are defined as feelings. There is a value to developing appropriate ways to express these feelings. Simply put, the complete spectrum of human emotions range from subtle to intense. There may be a need to practice some behavior modification to learn a wide range of emotions. Group or family therapy can be valuable for the adolescent. The format facilitates the ability to identify feelings and express them in “safe” environments where the possibility of rejection and humiliation are minimal. Team or individual sports can provide a forum for learning and accepting a variety of emotions.
Social involvement on a single or group basis can be a step toward an acceptable and useful life style. Social skills can be learned. Friends, music, and other life style patterns can assist in developing acceptable skills. Parents, teachers, friends, all can make positive inroads into social skills’ development.
Spirituality can be vital to one’s personal life style. Not to be confused with religious practices, the spiritual level can assist one to accept an authority greater than one’s own. To admire a picture, either a mountain top or a plain may be an expression of spiritual being. Sudden changes of bad luck to good luck may provide the essence of spiritual uplifting. What one really believes about life, life style, goals, vocation, passion, desires, and values may be a powerful assist toward attaining an acceptable life.