Occupational stress is a top source of stress for over 65% of Americans due to extended hours in the workplace. Recent changes in health care have encouraged employers to build workplace wellness programs to improve physical and mental health for employees to mitigate the effects of occupational stress. Wellness programs focus on either disease management; treating chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes; lifestyle management; or preventing chronic illnesses through health promotion. This manuscript provides an overview of recent changes in health care and describes a conceptual framework, Steps to Better Health (S2BH), that counselors can use in workplace wellness programs. S2BH is an 8-week psychoeducational group based on the combination of motivational interviewing (MI) and the transtheoretical model of change (TTM).
Counselors in school and community settings, counselor educators and counseling students (N = 453) participated in a study of self-perceived competence to serve lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) clients. Using the same large data set as Farmer, Welfare, and Burge (2013), the author examined different research questions focused on counselor religiosity and spirituality. Through multiple regression analysis, the following variables predicted LGB-affirmative counseling competence: counselors’ self-identified religiosity, spirituality, education, number of LGB clients counseled and LGB interpersonal contact. Spirituality had a positive relationship with competence, whereas religiosity was negatively related. Further exploration of the intersection of counselor religiosity and spirituality as it relates to LGB-affirmative counseling is warranted.
This study explored the relationships between demographic variables, self-efficacy and attachment style with a range of performed and preferred school counseling activities in a national sample of elementary school counselors (N = 515). Demographic variables, such as school counselor experience and American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model training and use, were positively related to performing intervention activities that align with the ASCA National Model. Results of hierarchical regression analyses supported that self-efficacy beliefs also predicted levels of both actual and preferred service delivery of
intervention activities. Interestingly, self-efficacy beliefs also predicted higher levels of performing “other” non-counseling activities that are considered to be outside of the school counselor role. An insecure attachment style characterized by high anxiety predicted a lower preference for intervention activities and also predicted the discrepancy between actual and preferred “other” non-counseling activities, revealing a higher preference for performing them.
Metaphors are linked to how individuals process information and emotions, and they are important to understand and utilize in counseling. A description of the structure of metaphors and metaphor theory is provided. The role of metaphors in emotional processing is explained, and the process of counseling is tied to the therapeutic usage of metaphors. Building from that information, approaches to using metaphors in counseling are described, and metaphors are divided into client-generated and counselor-generated categories, with corresponding information on how metaphors can be used in the counseling process. The counseling process is then separated into categories of exploration, insight and action, and descriptions of metaphor usage along with composite case examples are provided for each category to show how incorporating metaphors in clinical practice can be therapeutically beneficial in supporting positive client changes.
Clinical courses are important in the development of students pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC). Despite the importance of clinical courses, little is known about what CMHC students perceive as being helpful about their teachers of clinical courses. To investigate this, we sought the viewpoints of beginning counselors who were in their first four years of working as licensed counselors post-graduation. Thirty-two beginning-level counselors completed a Q sort that assessed the perceived helpfulness of their teachers of clinical courses in their CMHC master’s degree program. Three different learning preferences—application-oriented learners, intrinsically motivated learners, and affective-oriented learners—were observed among participants in the study.
Many theories are used to conceptualize adolescent substance use, yet none adequately assist mental health professionals in assessing adolescents’ strengths and risk factors while incorporating cultural factors. The authors reviewed common adolescent substance abuse theories and their strengths and limitations, and offer a new model to conceptualize adolescent substance use: The Adolescent Substance Use Risk Continuum. We posit that this strengths-based continuum enables clinicians to decrease stigma and offer hope to adolescents and their caregivers, as it integrates relevant factors to strengthen families and minimize risk. This model is a tool for counselors to use as they conceptualize client cases, plan treatment and focus counseling interventions. A case study illustrates the model and future research is suggested.
Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, the perceived impact of post-master’s experience (PME) during counselor education and supervision (CES) doctoral study was examined across five core areas of professional identity development: counseling, supervision, teaching, research and scholarship, and leadership and advocacy. The results showed positive perceptions of the impact of PME in four of the five core areas, with significant relationships between the amount of PME and perceived impact on supervision and leadership and advocacy. Implications inform CES doctoral admissions committees as well as faculty who advise master’s students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in CES.
This study evaluated the impact of the Student Success Skills (SSS) classroom curriculum delivered in a naturalistic setting on the metacognitive functioning of 2,725 middle and high school students in Kentucky. SSS was implemented as one intervention to fulfill an Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant. Results in students’ self-reports indicated that those who received the intervention demonstrated increased ability to regulate their levels of emotional arousal. No additional significant differences were found. These findings differ from the results of previous outcome studies involving SSS. Implications for implementing SSS in naturalistic school settings and directions for future research are discussed.
The social justice issue of human sex trafficking is a global form of oppression that places men, women and children at risk for sexual exploitation. Although a body of research exists on the topics of human trafficking, literature specific to the mental health implications for counselors working with this population is limited. Counselors should increase their awareness of the vulnerabilities that place persons at risk of becoming trafficked. Additionally, obtaining a deeper understanding of the indicators and processes through which persons become trafficked is necessary in order to provide appropriate services. Counselors should learn how force, fraud and coercion influence the wellness of trafficked persons. The following article provides an overview of the relevant information pertinent to sex trafficking and addresses the counseling implications for working with sex trafficked survivors.