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AEHS 510 – Knowledge and Theoretical Framework within Your Internship

The Agricultural and Human Sciences department would like to introduce a new monthly blog called The Student Narrative. This blog will display assignments from courses offered within the department that are completed by students. In the January blog post, we have an assignment from the AEHS 510 course, Supervised Professional Experience course which was completed by YFCS Graduate Student Shironda Brown.

As I begin to think about my upcoming internship working with Melissa James, Owner/Operator of Your Life Helper a Compassionate Place to Grow, I am filled with excitement. I realize that the long road to earning my Master’s degree is quickly coming to an end, which means that I will have the opportunity to impart the knowledge I have gained within my community helping children and youth experiencing the loss of a significant loved one. I am also excited that, Your Life Helper is a coaching clinic that specializes in grief coaching. Melissa is a board certified coach that wants to help those in her community learn how to recover after the loss of a loved one in their lives. When talking to Melissa and reading her website she informs her current and future clients that coaching therapy is centered around the ABCX model, Family Stress and Resilience Theory.

“The family stress and resilience theory addresses the fact that life is full of risks that threaten both individual and family well-being (Allen & Henderson, 2016, 210).” Allen further states that stressors can be traumatic while resilience is the capacity to overcome those stressors (Allen & Henderson, 2016). The utilization of this theory while working with children and youth experiencing a loss will give me an equation to enter into various components that will help me generate coaching dialogue and grief toolkits for my clients. During this internship, I plan to start a grief-coaching group for children and youth using a virtual platform. In order for this to take place and be successful, I will need to identify the stressors of each individual and then together move forward to make a grief toolkit that will help them cope with their future endeavors.

The next theory that I plan to implement during my internship is the family systems theory. “This theory is concerned with the ways that parents and children, spouses, and extended family members mutually influence and communicate with one another (Allen & Henderson, 2016, 104).” The intent of this theory is to concentrate on the daily interactions and emotional issues that arise within families (Allen & Henderson, 2016). When a loved one transitions from this life, loved ones left behind, begin experiencing emotions that are unfamiliar and need help maneuvering their life after the death. Children, often overlooked during this process need help maneuvering after the death of their loved one as well. This theory will give me a deeper insight into the types of interactions my client and their loved one shared. Understanding the cohesive bonds that were in place before the traumatic event took place will give me a better understanding of the help needed for my clients to develop grief plans that will facilitate their healing process and help build new relationships with their new family dynamics.

I do feel that pairing the family stress and resilience theory with the family systems theory is going to help me develop as a grief coach. It will give me a better understanding of the theories by actually implementing them and it will allow me to understand the vast family dynamics that I will encounter with an open mind. Lastly, these two theories will allow me to help children and youth that are feeling lost, alone, and depressed to find a new outlook on their lives that will help them grow and develop in a normal positive manner.


Allen, K. R., & Henderson, A. C. (2016). Family Theories: Foundations and Applications. John Whiley and Sons Inc,. 4613270