In this text author William Ming Liu presents theory and research on the impact of classism and social class on mental health. He provides an original framework—the Social Class Worldview Model—for exploring each person’s individual and subjective life experiences. These experiences form a perspective that is unique to the individual. The author then helps the reader integrate this realization into the study of poverty, economic inequality, wealth, and the often overlooked implications of greed, materialism, and consumerism for a more complete understanding of social class and classism. Liu’s original Social Class Worldview Model–Revised provides a theoretical framework for integrating each individual’s reaction to social class and classism experiences and addressing that worldview within counseling and psychology work. Readers receive guidance in additional ways to act as advocates for their clients—regardless of affluence—through a study of privilege, social justice, empowerment, and competence.

Social Class and Psychotherapy, Counseling, and Career-Related Issues

Social class and psychotherapy, counseling, and career-related issues

One of my clients was a well-dressed, very articulate, and, I assumed, affluent person. She was a graduate student who was about to complete her work in a prestigious program. Her presenting concern was about her troubled relationship and about arguments she was having with her boyfriend. What was odd to me was the level of sadness—despair, almost—that she exhibited in session. My feeling was that her affect, her sadness and sobbing, were not proportional to her conflicts with her boyfriend. But each time I pressed her on what else was going on for her, she would say, “I don't know.” As a way to change the tone of one ...

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