Counsellors' perceptions of adolescence

Moshe Tatar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


School mental health professionals' attitudes toward their potential client populations can determine what strategies they apply vis-à-vis their clients. Therefore, it is important that they be aware of their personal orientations. In this vein, the present study investigates, through both quantitative and qualitative methods of collection and analysis of data, the perceptions Israeli secondary-school counsellors have of adolescence. Questionnaires filled by 199 counsellors showed that, in general, counsellors have a favourable view of adolescents and do not perceive adolescence as a 'difficult stage'. Counsellors also believe that they are perceived positively by their adolescent students. Interviews conducted with 41 counsellors (a group randomly selected from the initial sample of counsellors) revealed a more complex view of adolescence. The interviewed counsellors identified five type of adolescents: the drive-oriented adolescent, the intellectually-oriented adolescent, the group-oriented adolescent, the community-oriented adolescent, and the isolated adolescent. The study also explores counsellors' opinions regarding each of these types' main characteristics, the leading reasons that may prevent adolescents from approaching a counsellor, and the considerations that may influence them to independently refer to a counsellor. Implications for school mental health professionals are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2001


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