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.
This investigation examined the potential impact of a school-based youth intervention program on the attitudes and behavioral patterns of at-risk youth. The sample size used in this study was 52; 24 participants received the school-based intervention and 28 participants did not receive the intervention. A two-group pretest-posttest design approach was implemented. A two-phase behavioral intervention was used with at-risk youth who were returning from a remanded period at an alternative school in lieu of expulsion from school. After the conclusion of the intervention program, school attitudes, behavioral indicators and academic success indicators were evaluated. The results of this study revealed that there was a significant treatment effect on youth’s school attitudes.
Inconsistent counselor professional identity contributes to issues with licensure portability, parity in hiring practices, marketplace recognition in U.S. society and third-party payments for independently licensed counselors. Counselors could benefit from enhancing the counseling profession’s identity as well as individual professional identities within the counseling profession. A random sample of 472 independently licensed counselors self-rated and then documented their individual professional identity via their occupational role discussions with others. Results demonstrate that independently licensed counselors rarely accurately self-evaluate their occupational role communications. Further, counselors rarely establish the counseling profession’s identity when discussing their occupational role. Participants’ responses guided the creation of a model that can guide counselors in evaluating and improving the communication of their professional identity to clients, other professionals and the general public.