The Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program utilizes a population-based curriculum and has been implemented in Malawi for the past seven years. This article reports findings from an ethnographic study that explored how 40 MHF stakeholders have experienced the MHF program. This transdisciplinary program is a 30-hour training in community mental health that focuses on fundamental helping skills; identification of stress, distress and mental disorders; and appropriate community referral and follow-up. Results indicated four interrelated themes representing participants’ beliefs about their experiences with the training, including the curriculum’s responsiveness to the Malawian context, the availability and limitations of resources, the processes involved, and a variety of identified outcomes. Implications for community implementation and future directions are identified.
Counselor education departments have a unique opportunity to implement feedback informed treatment (FIT) systems that serve as continual assessment procedures by informing counselors, clients, supervisors and educators about client functioning and progress toward goals. These systems hold potential benefits within counselor training such as a positive impact on supervision, student development and student learning outcome evaluation. This article contains an overview of what a FIT system is, reviews of the psychometric properties and steps for administering and scoring three main FIT systems, and a synopsis of the potential benefits and utility of FIT systems within counselor education. Implications for counselor education are discussed.
Adult attachment and parental bonding have been linked to anxiety disorders, but rarely have these associations been demonstrated in the same study. To fill this gap in the research literature, we utilized several different self-report measures to examine the relationships among adult attachment style, memories of early bonding experiences, and five types of anxiety in a sample of 201 undergraduate psychology students. Significant correlations were found between early bonding memories and secure, preoccupied and fearful attachment styles, but not between early bonding memories and dismissing attachment style. Secure attachment style negatively correlated with every type of anxiety, whereas preoccupied and fearful attachment styles positively correlated with every type of anxiety. Dismissing attachment style did not correlate with any anxiety type. Results also indicated correlations between early bonding memories and both post-trauma and social anxiety symptoms, but there was no relationship between bonding and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, panic or worry.
Excoriation disorder (also called skin picking disorder) is a newly added, often overlooked mental disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 2013). The purpose of this article is to increase professional counselors’ abilities to recognize and effectively address the symptoms of excoriation disorder. In this article, the etiologies, diagnostic criteria and assessment strategies for excoriation disorder are described. Excoriation disorder develops as the result of biological and physical contributors and might serve to regulate emotions. A review is provided of specific interventions and treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, which have demonstrated success in treating those who have excoriation disorder.
Issues regarding the diagnosis and treatment of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) continue to be of increasing concern to practitioners in educational and mental health settings. Given this rising concern, it is important to note that the majority of research regarding self-injury has focused on the symptomology and treatment of Caucasian females; little work has been done regarding the prevalence, presentation and treatment of self-injury with other populations (Marchetto, 2006). This article provides a rationale for addressing gender, culture and other issues of diversity in relation to self-injurious behaviors, including analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to provide empirical evidence for why additional issues of diversity need to be addressed. Implications for clinical counseling practice are discussed.
Mental health practitioners working within school or community settings may at any time find themselves working with youth presenting with suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Although always well intended, practitioners are making significant clinical decisions that have high potential for influencing a range of outcomes, including very negative (e.g., completed suicide) to very positive (e.g., on path to recovery). This study used an exploratory descriptive survey design to determine practitioner levels of preparedness, levels of confidence and methods used to assess suicide risk in youth. Practitioner respondents (N = 339) to a 23-item survey included professional counselors, school counselors, social workers, school psychologists and psychologists. Key findings indicate insufficient and inconsistent levels of preparedness and confidence, with respondents predominantly using an informal, non-structured interview method to obtain suicide risk level. Implications suggest a need for increased graduate training, supervision and ongoing skill development in suicide prevention and assessment.
The non-cognitive factors (NCFs) endorsed by Sedlacek (2004) appear to align with the core values of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). This article explores theoretical and empirical evidence that suggests REBT fosters the development of NCFs. School counselors can promote non-cognitive development by embedding REBT throughout direct and indirect student services. REBT-based strategies and interventions can aid school counselors in their efforts to close the achievement gap and foster college and career readiness among students, especially those from historically underrepresented populations. Recommendations for school counseling practice are provided.