Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

Counseling Disruptive Black Elementary School Boys

Samuel Woodard
Gestalt psychotherapyResearchCase seriesEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access


The article describes the counseling of the ten worst behaved black boys at an inner city elementary school in southeast Washington D.C. Traditional African values are reflected in unusually high principles of character. The author developed the seven character principles using an athletic slant to encourage a team thrust, but they all apply to life. They are caring, courage, control, cooperation, community, conscience and creativity. The theory was applied by practicing various behaviors during group process. These behaviors are accessibility; availability; predictability; loyalty; sincere apology after breaching someone's trust and; keeping commitments. The counselor needs some type of internal radar to guide him or her through the maze. Gestalt therapy is an area in which the author is clinically trained. It suggests key variables to increase for greater self-esteem: self-awareness, self-responsibility, and self-assertiveness. Sensitivity to small signs of progress is an important skill.

APA citation

Woodard, S. (1995). Counseling Disruptive Black Elementary School Boys. Journal Of Multicultural Counseling And Development, 23(1), 21-28.