TPC Journal-Vol 11-Issue-3 - FULL ISSUE

The Professional Counselor | Volume 11, Issue 3 377 older LGBTQ+ adults of color, given RCT’s underpinnings in equity, social context, action, and a social justice agenda (Singh et al., 2020). As researchers have noted, oppression relates to physical and mental health disparities, covers a number of social experiences (e.g., social isolation, help-seeking, caregiving), and is connected to relational well-being (Correro & Nielson, 2020; Jones et al., 2018; Kim et al., 2017; Seelman et al., 2017). Infusing RCT Constructs in Research Gerontological counseling researchers can apply many of the RCT constructs to foster research questions to expand RCT’s applicability beyond a theoretical framework, such as feelings of empowerment and attitudes toward relationships and growth. Additionally, research has not predominantly involved RCT for empirical use, although RCT is consistently taken up through theoretical applications in practice (Haskins & Appling, 2017; Jordan & Carlson, 2013; Kress et al., 2018), education (Hammer et al., 2014), supervision (Lenz, 2014), and advising (Purgason et al., 2016). It has been used particularly as a rich theoretical framework to reform critical thinking in practice. However, the implementation of RCT can immensely benefit from furthering an empirical base to create more accessibility with applying such methods in counseling practice (Lenz, 2016). If counseling practitioners implement RCT as part of their clinical approaches, research studies would be particularly useful if research questions targeted how RCT is successful specifically with older LGBTQ+ adults of color. Because RCT is relationally driven, researchers can integrate measures on relationships as outcome variables that might explain a moderated effect, particularly if identity disaffirmation or specific forms of oppression (e.g., racism, ageism) are contributing to lower outcomes of wellness. In this case, the strength of relational outcomes may weaken the relationship between multiple measures of oppression and wellness. This information would continue to highlight which RCT factors need further intervention and effectiveness research to inform its utility as a culturally responsive practice model. RCT in Quantitative Design Regarding methodological frameworks, researchers can illustrate connections with RCT principles across multiple types of modalities and methods of research (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, mixedmethods). Components of RCT can more heavily exhibit factors and variables involved in the RCT lens, such as relational capacity and growth. This premise is especially vital for researchers concerned with building measurements to advance clinical practice and knowledge. Aside from the work of Liang and colleagues (2002), measures of RCT factors are virtually nonexistent, and they have not been normed for a myriad of samples connected to older LGBTQ+ adults of color. Thus, researchers can incorporate RCT into applied research with older LGBTQ+ adults of color and underscore its applicability and empirical relevance for gerontological practice. Considering Lenz’s (2016) argument for the relevance of RCT as a useful approach within practice and intervention research, it is necessary to expand research studies that observe how counseling practitioners can implement the approach of RCT with older LGBTQ+ adults of color. RCT in Qualitative Design Vital for research designs grounded in qualitative research, RCT can be used as a framework aligned with certain paradigms (Creswell & Poth, 2018; Guba & Lincoln, 1994; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). The use of RCT is its own phenomenon, but it can also serve as a vehicle integrated into the paradigm of a particular qualitative research study, such as exploring grief and loss with older LGBTQ+ adults of color. Qualitative research can function from interpretivist, feminist, critical, and intersectional paradigms (Chan & Erby, 2018). Although the integration of RCT with feminist and critical paradigms are more likely due to explicit ties to social justice, the RCT approach can also