This article offers mental health counselors a compilation of best practices and technology in the treatment of combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal is to increase counselors’ awareness of the resources available to enhance their repertoire of tools and techniques to assess, diagnose, case-conceptualize and treat the growing population of combat veterans with PTSD. The National Center for PTSD provides guidelines for diagnosing PTSD using the DSM-5. PTSD is now recognized as a trauma disorder related to an external event rather than an anxiety disorder associated with mental illness. The authors describe assessment tools and treatment strategies for PTSD validated on veteran populations. The paper also highlights new technology and mobile apps designed to assist in the treatment of combat PTSD.
Past research has indicated the negative and positive impacts of deployment on military wives. Furthermore, research has indicated the need to further understand the different deployment stages, specifically the post-deployment period. The authors examined Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s attachment theories, specifically separation anxiety occurrence as experienced by stay-behind wives during their husbands’ post-deployment period. Purposive/volunteer sampling was used to survey 57 military wives currently experiencing the post-deployment period. A linear regression analysis produced a significant positive relationship between duration of deployment and the wife’s psychological distress during the post-deployment period. As deployments increased in duration, specifically to longer than 6 months, the levels of psychological distress significantly increased. Implications for counselors and researchers are addressed.
Undergraduate perceptions of the overall effectiveness of six types of mental health service providers (MHSPs) were obtained with a survey. Although many mental health services are available to consumers in the United States, research has indicated that these services are underutilized. Perceptions have been linked to therapeutic outcomes and may potentially serve as barriers to treatment. The results of the present study illustrate a range of perceptions and highlight the value of educating future consumers and practitioners about the roles of various MHSPs in providing mental health services. Future research is proposed.
Student veterans often encounter unique challenges related to career development. The significant number of student veterans entering postsecondary environments requires career-development professionals addressing the needs of this population to decide upon appropriate career intervention topics. This study utilized a career-needs assessment survey to determine the appropriate needs of student veterans in a university setting. Student veterans indicated a desire to focus on the following topics within career intervention: transitioning military experience to civilian work, developing skills in résumé-building and networking, and negotiating job offers. Results of the needs survey can be used in the development of a career-related assessment.
This article reports the results of a phenomenological study of racial identity development that asked the following questions: How do African-American males cope with invisibility experiences? What role do counselors play in assisting African-American males cope with invisibility experiences? The study involved the use of semi-structured interviews to explore invisibility experiences among seven African-American males. Results identified four thematic codes: self-affirmation, self-awareness, coping strategies in overcoming invisibility, and providing effective counseling to African-American males.
Many military veterans face the challenging transition to civilian employment. Military veteran members of a national program, Troops to Teachers, were surveyed regarding life satisfaction and related internal/external career transition variables. Participants included military veterans who were currently or had previously transitioned to K–12 teaching positions. Two variables, confidence and control, demonstrated a slight yet statistically significant positive correlation with life satisfaction. Recommendations for practice and future research are included in this second report on the findings of a dissertation.
Increases in diverse clientele have caused counselor education to enhance its focus on multicultural pedagogy, using the Tripartite Model (TM) to impart multicultural learning. While knowledge and awareness are important, it also is important to enhance skill development in counselors-in-training. Counselor educators have a unique opportunity to blend knowledge and awareness with skills learned in counseling techniques courses by incorporating microskills training in the multicultural classroom. Additionally, other theories, such as Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT), can be used as a framework to merge the TM and microskills. This article includes an overview of RCT, a brief history on microskills training and a case study to integrate the two concepts for use in counselor training. The reader should begin to see how microskills, RCT and the TM can serve to enhance skill development in the multicultural classroom.
Unemployment continues to be a growing concern among both civilian and veteran populations. As 14% of the veteran population currently identify as disabled because of service, this population’s need for specialized vocational rehabilitation is increasing. Specifically in Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) where holistic treatment is used in treatment and rehabilitation, career services may be useful in improving quality of life for visually impaired veterans. A group approach to career counseling with visually impaired veterans is discussed using the principles and theory of the cognitive information processing (CIP) approach. This approach emphasizes metacognitions, self-knowledge, occupations knowledge, and the use of a decision-making cycle to improve career decision states and decrease negative career thinking. A group outline is provided and discussion of special considerations and limitations are included.
The authors conducted an exploratory study using cultural domain analysis to better understand the meaning that advanced students and professional counselors in Mexico give to their professional identity. More similarities than differences were found in the way students and professionals define themselves. The most relevant concepts were empathy, ethics, commitment, versatility, training and support. Students gave more weight to multiculturalism and diversity, whereas professionals prioritized commitment and responsibility at work. Prevention did not appear as a relevant concept, posing challenges for professional counselor training programs in Mexico.
The Sexual Orientation Counselor Competency Scale (SOCCS), developed by Bidell in 2005, measures counselors’ levels of skills, awareness, and knowledge in assisting lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) clients. In an effort to gain an increased understanding of the construct validity of the SOCCS, researchers performed an exploratory factor analysis on the SOCCS with a sample of practicing counselors who were members of the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) and counselors-in-training (N = 155) enrolled in four Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)-accredited counseling programs. The data analyses resulted in a 4-factor model, 28-item assessment that explained 56% of the variance. In acknowledging the loading of the fourth factor, this result highlights the need to focus on involvement and engagement in clinical practice in order to maintain best practice standards. Furthermore, the fourth factor of experience adds a compelling perspective to consider when understanding, improving, and maintaining sexual orientation counselor competence.