Building Therapeutic Bridges: Techniques for Counseling Diverse Clients

Dr. Cheryl Sawyer,
Dr Darline Hunter
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In today's fast paced, high stress world, many individuals need counselors to help them cope with the constantly changing demands of daily life. School counselors, therapists, psychologists, and social workers all study approaches to working with a diverse clientele. These professionals recognize the need to strengthen their "toolbox" of methodologies in order to reach those clients who have difficulty with traditional "talk therapy". Although many clients are quite capable of establishing rapport and communication in the traditional counseling environment, other clients, especially children, leave counseling sessions feeling frustrated because they could not find the words to express their conflicting emotions. This presentation will discuss the need to connect the emotional and cognitive sides of the brain as part of the counseling process as well as present methods for counseling diverse clients through the lens of Gardner's Theories of Multiple Intelligences, focusing on the use of poetry, journaling, art, music, movement, nature, interpersonal, and intrapersonal approaches to counseling. In order to experience the connective powers of creative emotional expression, this workshop will provide participants with hand-on opportunities to experiment with clay, painting, journaling and poetry.

Keywords: Counselling, Poetry Therapy, Expressive Therapy, Spirituality
Stream: Teaching and Learning, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Dr. Cheryl Sawyer

Assistant Professor of Counseling, School of Education, University of Houston Clear Lake

Dr Cheryl Sawyer is Coordinator of the Counselor Education Program at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Cheryl enjoys traveling, camping, and playing with her teenage children and her husband. Cheryl and her husband, Gary, and her family live on a mini-ranch in Galveston County, TX but spend as much time as possible enjoying the beauty of the United States national parks and seashores. She is an avid reader, writes just for fun, and loves all kinds of music, especially country western, rock & roll, and classical. Cheryl is a poet and her poem, "One" (written after 9/11), was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has presented at over 100 local, state, regional, national, and international professional conferences. Her field of specialty is counseling traumatized children and in developing creative methodologies for helping these children to share their emotions in non-traditional expressive therapies. Cheryl has also received multiple grants to train bilingual teachers to become bilingual and cross cultural school counselors.

Dr Darline Hunter

Professor of Counseling, University of Houston Clear Lake

Ref: H05P0455