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Go Back to Your Trailer: Essential Social Class Awareness for Counsellors

  • Fisher Lavell
Chapter
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Abstract

Middle school student, Precious, jokingly referred to by school professionals as “trailer trash”, struggling with personal and systemic challenges typical in the lives of kids like her, is beginning to skip classes, fail courses, and hang out with the “tough kids” at the smoking area. Sadly, this is also a path often typical for kids like her. Good-hearted counsellors, using standard techniques and interventions, are often overwhelmed with the myriad issues of kids from poverty backgrounds. But in this chapter, Fisher Lavell, with insights from her own poverty upbringing, argues that social class-awareness in a culture-infused counselling intervention. Fisher describes the structural changes she makes to engage with poor youth, and her relationship-focused counselling style, and she weaves the story of her conversations with Precious over time and the growing positive influence that develops. But the ravages of classism are very real in the lives of poor youth, and Precious, scorned and rejected by a major crush, becomes angry and resistant, fights another girl, and is now on her way to the youth centre. Will a class-aware, culture-infused counselling intervention work, or is it too late for Precious?

Keywords

Working class Classism Class prejudice Class cultures Poor families Poor youth Poor girls Poor whites Youth in poverty Multicultural counselling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fisher Lavell
    • 1
  1. 1.Heritage Narrative TherapySwan RiverCanada

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