College counselors work collaboratively with professionals in a variety of disciplines in higher education to coordinate gatekeeper training to prepare university community members to recognize and refer students in mental distress to support services. This article describes the cross-validation of scores on the Mental Distress Response Scale (MDRS), a questionnaire for appraising university community members’ responses to encountering a student in mental distress, with a sample of faculty members. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the dimensions of the MDRS were estimated adequately. Results also revealed demographic differences in faculty members’ responses to encountering a student in mental distress. The MDRS has implications for augmenting the outreach efforts of college counselors. For example, the MDRS has potential utility for enhancing campus-wide mental health screening efforts. The MDRS also has implications for supporting psychoeducation efforts, including gatekeeper training workshops, for professional counselors practicing in college settings.
Providing treatment to survivors of human trafficking requires mental health professionals to understand complex layers of multiple traumas. These layers include an understanding of how trafficking occurs; what gender, ages, sexual orientations, life circumstances, and ethnicities are most at risk to be trafficked; the lasting impact of trafficking on human development, mental health, and family relationships; and the stigma victims face from their own families, communities, and mental health providers. These survivors suffer from physical ailments and post-traumatic stress disorder, and they are at high risk for developing comorbid disorders such as depression and addiction disorders. Integrated treatment options to alleviate these concerns, including cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, ecologically focused therapy, and family therapy, are presented.
This study examined the incidence of intentional nondisclosure by postgraduate, prelicensed counselors receiving supervision as they pursue licensure, which has not been previously examined. Examining the responses of 107 prelicensed counselors, we found that 95.3% reported withholding some degree of information from their supervisors, and 53.3% completely withheld a concern from their supervisors. Participants completely withheld supervision-related incidents (e.g., negative reactions to supervisor, questioning supervisor’s competency) more frequently than they withheld client-related incidents (e.g., clinical mistakes, personal issues). We offer strategies for prelicensed counselors, supervisors, counselor educators, and counselor credentialing bodies to reduce intentional nondisclosure. These strategies include creating a collaborative environment, developing supervision contracts, and attending to power differentials in supervision.
Distance education has become a mainstay in higher education, in general, and in counselor education, specifically. Although the concept sometimes still feels new, universities have been engaged in some form of distance learning for over 20 years. In the field of distance counselor education, it is imperative to understand where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. This article will lay the foundation for the special section of The Professional Counselor on distance counselor education and will explore the history of using technology in education, recent research about distance education in counseling and counselor education, and topic areas discussed throughout this special section. This special section will bring clarity to current and emerging best practices in the use of technology in the distance education of professional counselors, clinical supervisors, and counselor educators.
This article reviews relevant research that provides context for a commentary by two long-time distance counselor educators and supervisors with over 35 years of combined professional experience. The authors explore factors that support successful outcomes for graduate students within distance counselor education programs, which include how students are selected, supported in their development, and retained in the program. Discussion targets how distance learning promotes open access to students who historically have been marginalized, who are living in rural areas, and who have not had the same access to educational opportunities. We focus on the roles and responsibilities of institutional and program leadership and program faculty in the areas of building and sustaining a learning community, faculty engagement in and out of the classroom, and retention and gatekeeping of students. Finally, we discuss considerations for building and sustaining credibility within the university culture, supporting the specialized needs of a CACREP-accredited program, and managing the student–program relationship.
This article focuses on the clinical training aspects of a distance counselor education program and highlights what clinical courses look like in an online synchronized classroom. Using three courses as examples, including group counseling, child and adolescent counseling, and practicum and internship, the authors share unique challenges they have encountered and solutions they have adopted when training distance students on counseling skills. The authors further discuss pedagogy, teaching strategies, and assessments that have been utilized to engage diverse distance learners in synchronized class meetings in order to maintain equivalent quality and learning outcomes with traditional clinical training methods. Finally, the authors provide recommendations for future research to increase and solidify the reality of distance clinical training in counselor education programs.
Computer-enhanced counselor education dates as far back as 1984, and since that time counselor training programs have expanded to include instructional delivery in traditional, hybrid, and fully online programs. While traditional schools still house a majority of accredited programs, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited almost 40 fully online counselor education programs. The purpose of this article is to outline the similarities and differences between CACREP-accredited online or distance education and traditional program delivery and instruction. Topics include andragogy, engagement, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and gatekeeping.
Counselor education has moved firmly into the online space with multiple accredited programs available to students and potential faculty. These programs can cross state lines, either by location of training, placement of faculty, or both. As such, there are legal and ethical considerations that are outside of those that are typically considered. This article addresses some of the more common legal and ethical considerations in counselor education, such as vicarious liability and cybersecurity, and how they differ in the online education environment. Licensure and other laws and obligations for educators are explored. Opportunities for gatekeeping are discussed through the lens of a case study. A second case study with guiding questions is provided to raise visibility of state differences in practice laws. Finally, helpful resources for navigating online counselor education from a legal and ethical perspective are offered.
Distance counselor education has expanded educational opportunities for diverse groups of students. To effectively train and support global students in counseling programs, the authors explore some unique challenges and opportunities that counselor educators may encounter when integrating technology in the multicultural counseling curriculum. The authors discuss pedagogical strategies that can enhance distance learners’ multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. Through an intersectional, social construction pedagogy, counselor educators can decolonize traditional multicultural counseling curricula and foster an international distance learning environment. Additional innovative approaches and resources, such as online multiculturally oriented student services, online student-centered multiculturally based organizations and workshops, and office hours for mentoring online international students and supporting distance learners’ needs, are described.
Online counselor education has been studied extensively since its inception, but the experiences of students within these programs have received limited attention. This collaborative view from faculty and students of online counselor education was developed to share the stories of students who have engaged in both synchronous and asynchronous distance counselor education programs at the master’s and doctoral level. Students talked about finding online programs to be viable options to work flexibly within their adult lives. In addition, they shared that they were more satisfied when there were efforts to foster connection through synchronous or other means found in a community of inquiry. Finally, their reports illuminate potential directions for research in exploring the experience of students in online counselor education programs.