Counseling Across the Lifespan expands the perimeters of counseling with its emphasis on preventive techniques for adjustment problems in the lifespan of a normal individual. This cogent work focuses on counseling intervention strategies from the unique perspective of an individual’s lifespan, placing techniques in the proper development context. By concentrating on life stages—from childhood through old age—the authors identify the nature and origin of various psychological issues such as self-identity and healthy lifestyle development in adolescents, family violence in young adults, or retirement transitions for older adults. The intervention tools needed to confront these issues are presented through succinct pedagogical features including case examples, checklists for evaluating clients, and exercises.


The definition and recognition of childhood has varied across time and cultures. Until the early part of the 17th century in Europe, children were largely viewed as miniature adults. Frequently, children assumed adult work roles and other responsibilities by the age of 10 years (Aiken, 1998). By the late 19th century, child welfare groups had developed to improve the living conditions and treatment of children, particularly in Europe and North America (Aiken, 1998). As these changes occurred, childhood became a stage of development distinct from any others. With influence from Freud, Piaget, and other developmental theorists, childhood became a highly studied stage of development, often assumed to include all the key developmental events.

During the earliest stages of development, children encounter conflicts related to their ...

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