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.
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the counseling profession in New Orleans has changed. The author, along with a group of counseling and other mental health professionals who were providing services at the time of the hurricane and still working in the city 10 years later, provided their impressions of counseling in New Orleans a decade after the storm. The population of New Orleans and the presenting problems of clients shifted after Hurricane Katrina. The residents have required help from counselors, supervisors, counselor educators and agency administrators in order to adapt to new challenges. The need for counselors to possess skills in trauma counseling was one of the lessons learned from the disaster. Agency administrators also advised using caution after a disaster when considering funding offers and research study proposals. While it may be impossible to prepare thoroughly for each unique disaster, Hurricane Katrina taught counseling professionals in New Orleans that after a disaster, flexibility and creativity are required to survive.
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of five variables—primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, coping skills, social support and stigma—to bereavement among women whose military spouses had completed suicide. Four correlations to bereavement (primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, coping skills and stigma) were significant. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis assessed the overall relationship of bereavement (the criterion variable) to the five predictor variables, along with the unique contribution of each predictor variable. In the regression, five of six models (all except Model 4) showed significance. The dissertation on which this manuscript is based has the following practical implications: statistically significant correlations between bereavement and constructs of Lazarus’ Cognitive Model of Stress (LCMS), as well as the significance of Lazarus’ construct of primary appraisal within Model 6, indicate that LCMS holds promise for understanding symptoms of bereavement in women whose military spouses have completed suicide.
This article utilizes one counselor education program’s experience as a framework for exploring how to prepare counselors to work in interdisciplinary teams. Based on an interdisciplinary training program that involves faculty and graduate students from counseling, social work, nursing, internal medicine and family medicine, the article explores the role discipline-specific orientations play in the outcome of interdisciplinary training programs. Using practical examples grounded by the program’s experiences and literature on interdisciplinary training, understanding of the dynamics of interdisciplinary training programs is explored. Implications for preparing counselors for interdisciplinary work and future research are provided.
This study explored what faculty members are recommending to counselor education master’s students regarding post-master’s experience when considering doctoral studies and what the current faculty hiring preferences are in reference to the amount of post-master’s experience needed. Advisors in counselor education master’s programs encounter these questions, and the authors believe the findings are beneficial in helping provide answers. Findings indicate faculty members believe post-master’s experience informs supervision, teaching, research and professional identity during the doctoral program and in faculty roles. Findings also indicate faculty members consider the characteristics and circumstances of each individual in determining how important post-master’s experience is prior to entering a doctoral program.