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School counselors can play a critical role in assisting male students either at-risk or currently battling an eating disorder (Manley et al., 2000; Russell & Keel, 2002). The following is a list of guidelines that will benefit school counselors in their work with adolescent males:
1. School counselors need to know the risk factors specific to adolescent males. These can be remembered as the "six red flags" of
2. School counselors should be aware of resources available in the community. This represents identification of referral agencies and practitioners who have experience working with this population. The school counselor's role in initiating appropriate community referral would include providing the student and his family with general information on community psychotherapeutic resources as well as emphasizing the importance of a medical evaluation to assess the general physical health of the client. The research has shown that treatment for eating disorders can encompass months of individual and group therapeutic interventions; this underscores the need for the school counselor to be aware of available community resources (Manley et al., 2000; Phillips, Greydanus, Pratt, & Patel, 2003).
3. School counselors can educate parents, teachers, coaches, and community members on the following: awareness of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, prevalence rates in males, and each of the risk factors previously discussed. School counselors possess a critical knowledge base that can be incorporated into parent education programs and parent/teacher association presentations (Manley et al., 2000).
4. School counselors may monitor their students' progress in referred treatment as well as provide at-school support for those students in outpatient counseling. School counselors can also assist by offering group counseling opportunities for at-risk or diagnosed male students (Phillips et al., 2003).
Reflection Exercise #11
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 25
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