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An unplanned pregnancy is a crisis in a student’s life. On the other hand Teen pregnancy is a term used in reference to young ladies who get pregnant before attainment of legal adulthood that is between the ages of 13-19 (UNICEF).A teen mother can request assistance from the health care provider in reviewing her options of becoming a parent, continuing the pregnancy and placing her baby for adoption, or terminating the pregnancy. To facilitate the decision-making process for students facing these choices, as the counselor I must first examine my own values and biases. In this paper we will learn about how girls deal with unplanned pregnancy/ teenage pregnancy.
According to the Cambridge English dictionary, it states that bias is a tendency to lean in a certain direction, often to the detriment of an open mind. Those who are biased tend to believe what they want to believe, refusing to take into consideration the opinions of others. It is also the inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
In our country teen pregnancy, is one of the growing problem in our society. Although sex education is been taught in primary and secondary school and through counseling and guidance, there is still a wide incidence of teen pregnancy, this is a problem that not only affect the teenager but also the society. However, in some part of the country teen pregnancy is not a problem because it is a part of their culture especially in the Mayan communities. As a counselor I will still face with a sense of discomfort counseling this child because a child having a child is very upsetting. Also, counseling a student with an unplanned pregnancy can be very challenging for health care providers and the student in their care. The challenge comes from the personal feelings each I may have about unplanned pregnancy, abortion or adoption, and from the fact that an unplanned pregnancy is a crisis in a student’s life. In some cases, a teenager or student is unsure of what she wants to do or what is best for her. Some students are not prepared to become parents. In this situation, a pregnant teen that is depressed can make decisions that she may regret.
Teens that come from a strict religious background tend to hide things from their teens, and that prevents the teenagers to be informed about real life and what are they getting into. For many girls, this is because of a lack of parenting. Therefore, they go off and do things in the world that they may regret. “Young people’s sexual reproductive health is an area that requires increased attention in policies and programs. Young people face increasing risks for poor reproductive health outcomes largely owing to the absence of youth friendly services”. As a counselor if I know that a student of mine is sexually active I would educate them about contraceptive especially if the child comes from a poor family. Many teenagers believe that having a child don’t come with responsibilities.
It is my perception that making assumptions about the intentions of the mother is a common pitfall. As the counselor I am not assume, for example, that any woman who is married desires the pregnancy or that any single woman’s pregnancy is unwanted. As the counselor I can approach counseling with a sympathetic, nonthreatening tone, realizing that unintended pregnancy causes stress and anxiety for many women, teenagers and young mothers. A neutral question like, “How do you feel about the pregnancy?” should be used as an alternative to statements like, “Congratulations!” or, “Are you happy about the pregnancy?” Other questions, such as, “Do you know what your options are?” or, “What are your thoughts about parenting/adoption/abortion?” can help the physician further assess the situation. Inquiring about a patient’s social support system can identify women who may need additional resources.
Research states that the crisis of an unintended pregnancy can stir up numerous and sometimes competing emotions in women as well as providers. Denial might surface to protect the woman from the pain of facing her situation. Dealing with a student who is in denial can be particularly challenging for the counselor. However, I believe that with reflection, discussion, and support, the woman can give up denial, but I won’t be able to take denial away. The student must feel safe enough and supported enough to let herself feel the internal tension and discomfort. When the student recognizes and acknowledges ambivalent feelings, she can move past denial and engage in the process of decision making.
According to Kohili & Nyberg, that there has being a long association of giving birth out of wedlock. Many people might condemn or stigmatized the teen who got pregnant out of wedlock especially if they got pregnant for a married man. But on the other hand one might go contrary to that belief. The bible state, “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Genesis 9:7 as my role as a counselor I will weigh my option on how to deal with this situation because I don’t want to impose my own belief on the individual because they are church goers.
Moreover, as a counselor, I need to investigate all the possibilities of how the teen became pregnant in the first place. What if this child was raped or sexually molested by an adult male? These can be other reasons why a child might end up pregnant. According to Webster’s Dictionary rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Under the Belize law the age of consent is sixteen. Girls aged fifteen and younger are not legally able to consent to sexual activity. A male who forces themselves on a child that is under the age of consent should be dealt with harshly because the forced themselves on the teen that cause them to end up pregnant this is a result to sexual violence. According to the Human Development Handbook sexual violence is refer to any violence– physical or psychological–that targets sexuality or is enacted by sexual means, including; rape and attempted rape. “Sexual violence continues to be one of the most horrific forms of violence against women in the Caribbean including Belize”. Men who commit these crimes should be in prison because they did something heinous. As a counselor I have a personal bias against men who do these things to women or children because the children maybe left damaged or have a negative reaction to men.
In addition, I believe that to assist the students in decision making, it is imperative for me as the counselor to have current and accurate information about abortion, adoption, and parenting. I must first assess what information the student already has and her general level of education. A useful way to assess her knowledge base is to ask her what questions she has and what she has heard (as opposed to what she knows). This allows me to avoid giving information the student already has and to fill in the knowledge gaps in a way she can understand.
As an upper division teacher, I often encounter cases where my students or passed students are turmoil with unwanted pregnancy. In most these students do not want to keep the pregnancy and even though I am a hundred percent against abortion I always try not to impose what I believe to my students. However, I provide them with the pros and cons to the situation. The students have so much trust in me and as their teacher and counselor I should not be upset with what they say but rather to guide them to make the fittest and rightest decision possible.
All in all as a counselor counseling a student whose beliefs contradicts my beliefs my main goal aims primarily toward fostering personality growth by helping individuals gain insight into and acceptance of their feelings, values, and behavior. I must extend consistent, warm, “unconditional positive regard” toward “my student client” and reflect on my clients’ own verbalized concerns, to enable them to see themselves more clearly and react more openly during the counseling sessions and with others. Most importantly my ethical code and professionalism is the key role in helping my students.
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