The life-p development of a person is an amazing issue to study. From the prenatal phase to death, the changes that occur in each stage are incredible. The various issues that are addressed in life-p development show the differences between nature versus nurture. These aspects play a major role in genetics, lifestyle and emotions. People continually develop physically, cognitively, socially and behaviorally through all stages of life. Working in the Behavioral health field the life-p development theories can help with specific behaviors of people and experiences.According to Santrock (2007) “personality can be better understood if it is examined developmentally. ” Behavioral Health counselors must provide clients proper context and explanations. This can be achieved through the basic theories of cognitive, biological and socio-emotional development principles. Research in these areas has been done and evidence has been found that life requires stability and change (Myers, 2007). Stability enables us to depend on others and change motivates us. Children that are with La Paloma Family Services are offered stability and change.
Many come from very unstable environments and are use to change in negative ways. So as Behavioral Health Professionals we are there to provide positive stability and change. The life-p development stages and the understanding of the environment that clients come from will provide Behavioral Health Practitioners the ability to counsel a client in an effective way. Chapter one of Santrock (2007) assessed various theorists and concentrated mainly on early childhood development. These principles help to give insight on an individuals behavior patterns from early on.
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Santrock (2007) made an interesting point about the environmental influence playing a major role in a person’s development. The chapter explains Piaget's cognitive developmental theory relates to a person’s behavior and how one adapts to the environment around. The children that I work with are highly affected by the environment that they are in. Many come from broken and abusive homes. These environments are tough and chaotic, so in turn the kids only know how to react to things in certain ways. Once placed in group or foster homes these kids struggle with their current environmental issues.
At La Paloma Family Services a client's behavior is seen as an adaptive course that is motivated by a biological desire to obtain balance (La Paloma, 2008). Vygotsky’s cognitive theory emphasizes the impact of social and cultural environmental relationships. What goes on around us with peers and the culture we are in influences us. There are a variety of cultures that are put together in group and foster homes. The girls I work with come from various backgrounds, which affect how they interact with each other and with staff.
It is imperative for the Behavioral Health industry to understand the life-p perspective. Erickson’s theory of development identifies the different stages of life. The stages go from prenatal to death, with each stage in an optimal period (Boeree, 1997). This is important to recognize as a counselor or Psychologist. When providing therapy to a preschooler it is different than with an adolescent. Erikson's theory is apparent that one phase must lead to the next, as with Piaget and Kohlberg. Developmental inconsistencies can lead to tribulations later in life.
Biological factors play a role in the development of individuals and are considered one of the oldest. The nature versus nurture can be controversial over the relative contributions of biology and experience (Myers, 2007). “Nurture works on what nature endows” (Myers, 2007). Humans are ‘endowed’ with a vast capacity to learn and adapt to our environments. Together our genes and our environment influence our individual behaviors. Psychology relates to many fields, ranging from the biological to the social and all influence our culture and environment.
The various theories that are offered should be researched and understood by all that enter into the Behavioral Health field. The theories offered can be helpful guides, but relying on a single theory to explain development is probably a mistake (Santrock. 2007). Life-p development offers a comprehensive approach for therapists. Genetics and experience are interconnected. Basically we are all unique in our own ways, but how different are we really? From conception onward we are products of our interactions of our genetic predispositions and our surrounding environments.
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