This advocacy chapter builds on strategies and skills from other chapters, particularly those in Module II regarding negotiation. Whereas the negotiation chapters in Module II focus on helping professionals negotiating on their own behalf, this chapter focuses on helping professionals using conflict resolution (CR) skills to advocate for clients or particular causes.
Approaches to Advocacy
Many helping professions include advocacy as a role that falls within their mandate; surprisingly, few courses actually provide helping professionals with the skills or theory required for this element of practice. This section highlights how helping professionals may use theory to guide their advocacy practice. If the examples in this chapter do not reflect the theories usually used by the students in your class, provide additional theories that fit with their professional backgrounds and orientations.
Counselors, therapists, nurses, and similar clinicians tend to view their primary advocacy role as one in which they advocate for an individual client. Often, advocacy is required at administrative and policy levels. Most codes of professional conduct include advancing health, social welfare, or justice as professional obligations. Accordingly, students should think about advocating at various levels of practice.