Adolescence & Its Challenges – A Counseling Workshop with Dr. Geetika Kapoor
At University Connection, we work on the principle of kaizen-consistent and continuous improvement to relate to challenges in the field of counseling today. Relevant to the subject at hand, we had a unique opportunity to engage with Dr. Geetika Kapoor- one of the finest school psychologists in India today in a workshop on the subject of adolescence and their challenges in contemporary society. The session was focused on learning about the similarities and differences of life stages for children, adolescents and adults in contemporary times. We learned about various methods and strategies to overcome roadblocks most counselors face in the field today, ranging from students with too little ambition to overambitious students and their challenges through various facets of life. There were key concepts of the significance of emotional age preceding biological age while addressing a student, demystification of the deconstruction process of implicit mental models and an emphasis on a counselor’s power lying in the traditional tools of reflection and paraphrasing. Matching a student’s emotional skillset in accord with their academic skillset is crucial to shaping their life journey in their foundational years. We were also intrigued to learn about her experience of dealing with the latest DSM-5 categorized disorder- Internet addiction disorder and how cognitive homework and exercises are used to steer a student from ‘technology making Jack a dull boy’. Some key takeaways of the session centered around a counselor’s perspective embedded in the strong foundation of holding a non-judgmental stance, playing the role of a facilitator – reinterpreting the language used by the client from normative social labels to experiential cognitive and emotional labels faced by their client/ student. We were also educated on identifying boundaries between deviational behavior and disorders which holds relevance in addressing boundary line problems which sometimes create obstacles in their academic journeys. Using an amalgamation of theoretical inputs, field experiences and live demonstration, we could crystallize our understanding in a clearer understanding of the gap areas which need to be addressed with students as a foundation on the onset of their life journey by enhancing their emotional functioning in a healthy environment which can allow them to tap into their dormant potential; creating a revelatory personal evolution ahead of the challenges they would face in the years to come.