Assessment 2:        Essay                      

Session due: Session 10

Length: Maximum of 2000 words

Marks: 100 (40%)

What is an essay?

Essays generally demonstrate the author’s research, position, and understanding of a specific topic or subject matter. The student should demonstrate their understanding of the topic through personal interpretation in addition to citing literature and relating its applicability to the topic. Essays differ based on the module topic under investigation. Ideas should be presented logically and coherently, showcasing a reasoned argument in the relevant subject under investigation, and specifically meeting the respective assignment instructions. The student should make use of appropriate academic language relevant to the subject and incorporate a conclusion that is consistent with the evidence in the essay about the topic.

The student’s ability to: select, organise, integrate and present information from various credible sources will be assessed. Furthermore, the student’s ability to write, develop an argument, present their position, present supporting evidence of their research on the topic and demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter will be assessed.


Choose one of the challenges which may be faced by adolescents discussed in sessions 7, 8 or 9 of this module.

Provide a detailed description of it, placing it in a South African context including elements such as; prevalence and risk factors, and relevant contextual issues.

Conceptualise an intervention/strategy on how you would help an adolescent who faces this challenge. Include the following in your essay:

1. Identify and describe the challenge you chose and provide a theoretical context of the problem in adolescent development.

2. Conceptualise an intervention plan that addresses the challenge. The intervention could be counselling sessions, group work, psycho-educational workshops, or any combination. Detail the logistical structure of the intervention:

  • Explain how you will recruit the adolescent client(s); and
  • How and where the intervention will take place?
  • Proposed duration of the intervention.

3. Provide more detail on the proposed intervention:

  • Your role in the intervention;
  • What the intervention will cover;
  • The strategies and skills to be used; and
  • The process to be followed. 4. Indicate, with credible theoretical backing, the potential outcome of the intervention.

Session 7

Dealing with Loss and Change: Divorce and Grief

This session will explore the impact of divorce and death on children. Topics the student will engage with include:

  • Describing the stages of divorce;
  • Recognising children’s concerns during a breakup;
  • Guiding parents to help their children understand the process of divorce and apply creative interventions for working with children of divorce;
  • Understanding the age-based conceptualisations of death and describe how children may react to death at different ages;
  • Promoting healthy responses to grief, and explore ways of counselling children through bereavement; and
  • Describing complicated grief and its associated risk factors and ‘red flag’ behaviours.

Prescribed Reading:

Arkowitz, H., & Lilienfeld, S. (2013). Is divorce bad for children? Scientific American Mind, 24(1).

Humphrey, G. M. Zimpher, D. G. (2007). Counselling for grief and bereavement (Ch. 6). Sage Publications.

Recommended Reading: Moore, R. O., Ordway, A., & Francis, J. (2013). The tug of war child: Counselling children involved in high conflict divorces. Retrieved from: Babies and children’s dragonfly and waterbug story [Video]. (2015, Oct 26). YouTube.

Session 8

Dealing with Trauma: Child Abuse, Violence and Crime

This session will define the concept of trauma, explore the impact of various types of trauma on children and the developmental responses to trauma. Furthermore, the session will explore the indicators of trauma. Topics the student will engage with include:

  • Discussing the importance of creating a safe therapeutic space for victims of trauma;
  • Explaining vicarious traumatisation;
  • Defining and discussing child abuse and identify the different forms of abuse;
  • Producing creative interventions for working in the field of child abuse;
  • Understanding your role as a counsellor in terms of disclosure and mandatory reporting of abuse; and
  • Supporting a young person after a disclosure has been made.

Prescribed Reading:

Lubit, R., Rovine, D., Defrancisi, L., & Ethe, S. (2003). Impact of trauma on children. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 9(2), 128-138.

Barnes, M., & Fortino, J. (N.D.). Understanding and treating the sexually acting out child.

Retrieved from:

Gregorowski, C., & Seedat, S. (2013). Addressing childhood trauma in a developmental context. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 25(2), 105-118.

 Recommended Reading: Department of Justice. (2010, April 1). Children’s Act no 38 of 2005. Government Gazette, 33076, 1-182

Session 9

Dealing with Negative Behaviour: Anger, Bullying and Self-Harm

In this session, students will be guided through understanding negative behaviours such as anger, various forms of bullying and self-harm. Furthermore, the session will explore various preventative measures and strategies for self-harm. Topics the student will engage with include:

  • Understanding the prevalent characteristics of bullies and their victims;
  • Identifying triggers of anger and learn the steps to control anger and teaching these steps to young people;
  • Applying creative interventions to develop an anger management programme;
  • Defining the term self-harm and identify various self-harming behaviours;
  • Explaining the term NSSI; and
  • Discussing the counsellor’s role in working with adolescents who self-harm and explore when disclosure to parents/guardians is necessary and how to go about this process.

Prescribed Reading:

DeWet, C. (2005). Voices of victims and witnesses of school bullying. Koers Journal, Volume 70(4), 705 – 725.

Hawton, K., Saunders, K., & O Connor, R. (2012). Self-harm and suicide in adolescents. Lancet, 379(9834), 2373-2382.

Recommended Reading:

Mhlongo, T., & Pelzer, K. (1999). Parasuicide among youth in a general hospital in South Africa. Curationis, 72-76.

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