CHAPTER 8 HELPING INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND GROUPS WITH STRESSFUL LIFE TRANSITIONS AND TRAUMATIC EVENTS Summary of Content 1. Life Transitions and Life-Modeled Practice Life-modeled practice assumes that throughout the life course, individuals, families, groups, and communities will face normative, expected life transi- tions—such as becoming pregnant, entering into adolescence, or joining the workforce. Individuals, families, groups, and communities also will experience life transitions that, while not uncommon, often bring on feelings of sadness, grief, and dislocation, such as death of a loved one, becoming disabled, and losing one’s home. Still others experience events that are nonnormative and unexpected, like a humanmade or natural disaster or rape or sexual abuse. Protective factors discussed previously in this book can mitigate the stressful impact of a life transition, while risk factors may intensify the effect, even when the transition is a normal one, such as going to college. Life transitions that are thwarted, like a couple’s inability to conceive a child, or occur in a context of social and/or internalized stigma, like a diagnosis of mental illness or coming out as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangen- der, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individual, are likely to generate stress. Stress also may occur when a life transition that is normal occurs too early (e.g., a teen pregnancy), or later in the life course (e.g., a grandparent raising grandchildren).
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