Publication Date



Counseling families in poverty can be a daunting process if one only focuses on what is lacking. Taking such a deficit approach is limiting not only to the counselor but also can serve to disempower the clients. This paper presents a strengths-based approach for counseling families living in poverty that emphasizes relational processes and the excavation of resources and resilience. More specifically, recommendations are presented that recognize the contextual factors of families living in poverty and that stress the therapeutic relationship, counselor self-reflection, an unassuming professional stance, and taking on of an advocacy role.

Recommended Citation

Cholewa, B., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2013). Counseling Families in Poverty: Moving from Paralyzing to Revitalizing, Michigan Journal of Counseling, 39(2), 13-27. doi:10.22237/mijoc/1356998520





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