Following the outbreak of COVID-19, reports of discrimination and violence against Asians and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have increased substantially. The present article offers a timely conceptualization of how public and societal fears related to COVID-19 may contribute to unique mental health disparities and the presence of race-based trauma among AAPIs residing in the United States. The relationships between media, increasing rates of xenophobia and sinophobia, and racial discrimination are provided. Next, the deleterious effects of race-based discrimination on the emotional and physical well-being of people of color and Indigenous groups (POCI) and AAPIs are described. Finally, the article identifies the clinical implications of counseling AAPI clients, encourages a decolonization of current trauma-focused interventions, and presents specific strategies to heal race-based trauma in AAPI client populations.
To improve conceptualizations of college student mental health, the present study (N = 538) compared predictors of well-being that comprise both well-established counseling theories (e.g., attachment) and newer models specific to the life experience of the millennial generation and Generation Z. Predictors included internal resources (i.e., attachment security, ego resilience), emerging adulthood identification, and social resources (i.e., social support, social media usage). Each variable set predicted significant variance. The emerging adulthood and social media variables accounted for approximately 7% of variance in both psychological well-being and life satisfaction. Identifying emerging adulthood as a time of negativity and instability was the second strongest predictor of psychological well-being, while identifying emerging adulthood as a time of experimentation and possibilities was the second biggest predictor of life satisfaction. Implications for conceptualizing and treating today’s students are discussed.
Students in foster care frequently experience barriers that influence their personal, social, and academic success. These challenges may include trauma, abuse, neglect, and loss—all of which influence a student’s ability to be successful in school. Combined with these experiences, students in foster care lack the same access to resources and support as their peers. To this end, school counselors have the opportunity to utilize their unique position within the school community to effectively serve and address the complex needs of students in foster care. This paper addresses the current research, presenting problems, implications, and interventions school counselors can utilize when working with this population.
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a common clinical concern. We surveyed a national sample of 94 licensed clinicians to better understand their work with clients who self-injure. Our data revealed that over the past year, 95.7% (n = 90) of the sample reported working with at least one client who self-injured. Thirty-six clinicians (38%) reported that most or all of their clients who self-injured were adolescents, 61 (64.9%) reported that most or all clients who self-injured were female, and 43 (45.7%) reported that most or all clients who self-injured engaged in cutting as the primary NSSI method. About 35% (n = 33) of the clinicians in our sample indicated they have never asked clients who self-injured about their online activity related to NSSI. The majority of our participants (n = 78; 83%) supported the notion that NSSI could be an addictive behavior for some clients and less than half (n = 42; 44.7%) received NSSI training in their graduate coursework.
Counselors are frequently called upon to be advocates for their clients and, more broadly, to advocate for the counseling profession. However, many new counselors struggle with integrating advocacy work in their counseling practice. This article provides an overview of service learning and identifies ways counselor educators may foster advocacy skills among counselors-in-training through the use of planned service learning experiences in the counselor education curriculum. The authors then provide examples of service learning activities for use within the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) 2016 core curricular areas, including professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, career development, helping relationships, and group work.
As with many advancements in science and technology, ethical standards regarding practice often follow innovation. The integration of neuroscience with counseling is no exception, as scholars are just beginning to identify important ethical concerns related to this shift in the profession. Results of an inductive thematic analysis exploring the perspectives of 312 participants regarding the ethics of integrating neuroscience with counseling are presented. This study is the first of its kind to explore mental health counselors’, counselors-in-training’s, and counselor educators’ perceptions of neuroscience integration. The researchers identified a continuum of concern ranging from no concerns to grave concerns. In addition, they identified four specific ethical quandaries: a) neuroscience does not align with our counselor identity, b) neuroscience is outside the scope of counseling practice, c) challenges with neuroscience and the nature of neuroscience research, and d) potential for harm to clients. Implications include four key considerations for counselors prior to proceeding with integrating neuroscience into practice.
Researchers used path analysis to examine self-stigma, help seeking, and alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in a community sample of individuals (N = 406) recruited through the crowdsourcing platform MTurk. Self-stigma of help seeking contributed to AOD use and was mediated by help-seeking attitudes. We discuss the implications for advocacy and stigma reduction in substance use treatment. Counselors and counselor educators can implement and advocate for interventions and training that increase positive attitudes toward seeking help, such as providing appropriate training with supervisees and counselors-in-training, providing clients and the community with mental health literacy, and engaging in more advocacy. Moreover, they can challenge thoughts of seeking help as weakness, normalize seeking psychological help, and discuss the benefits of counseling and therapy to address the development and effects of self-stigma of help seeking for individuals with substance use issues.
Burnout is a statistically significant phenomenon for school counselors, correlated with various individual and organizational factors, which have been studied independently. Therefore, we investigated both individual and organizational factors of burnout conceptualized as a multidimensional phenomenon with 227 school counselors. Multidimensional burnout was measured by the five subscales of the Counselor Burnout Inventory, which included Exhaustion, Incompetence, Negative Work Environment, Devaluing Clients, and Deterioration in Personal Life. Using hierarchal regression analyses, we found individual and organizational factors accounted for 66.6% of the variance explained in Negative Work Environment, 38.3% of the variance explained in Deterioration in Personal Life, 36.7% of the variance explained in Incompetence, 35.1% of the variance explained in Exhaustion, and 14.0% of the variance explained in Devaluing Clients. We discuss implications of the findings for school counselors and supervisors. Identifying the multidimensions of burnout and its correlates, addressing self-care and professional vitality goals, communicating defined school counselor roles, providing mentoring opportunities, and increasing advocacy skills may help alleviate burnout.
According to recent research, counselors may benefit from a variety of supports offered by mental health agencies after a client dies by suicide. Research is sparse concerning how often agency supports and outreach are offered to counselors and what supports counselors find to be the most helpful after a client suicide. In this cross-sectional survey research study, the researchers recruited a sample of counselors (N = 228) who self-identified as having experienced a client suicide. The authors examined relationships between perceived organizational support, supervisory alliance, and the impact of the event on counselors. The authors also examined the use and perceived helpfulness of agency policies regarding counselor-oriented support after client suicide. Results highlight the need for more counselor training around suicide, increased empathy for counselor survivors, and the need for agency policies related to postvention.
Literature on the physical design of counseling spaces suggests that calm and comfortable school counseling offices support students’ emotional disclosure. However, many counseling environment design studies fail to consider the perspectives of clients. Scholars have called for school counselors to invite youth to co-create interventions as a means to promote cultural responsiveness and honor students’ cultural knowledge. The goal of the current exploratory action research was to bring visibility to the experiences of students who participated in a classroom-based school counseling intervention in which they co-created a hip-hop studio as a social and emotional support space. Specifically, focus groups on the value of the co-creation of a hip-hop studio for urban youth were employed. Results suggested students experienced the studio as a shared space for inclusivity, comfort, and belonging; a place to make their own design choices; and a practice space to garner peer support, engage in personal self-development, and support others.
Literature does little to explore the perceptions of Black adolescents with depression or their perspective of treatment effectiveness. Studies are usually from urban areas and there is a dearth of research with Black adolescents from rural areas. This study explored the unique personal experiences of Black adolescents located in the rural southeastern United States, with the purpose of gaining a clearer understanding when working with this population. An interpretative qualitative method was used to explore 10 participants’ interpretation of their experiences to gain insight in how they make meaning of those experiences. Five significant categories were found to capture participant themes: (a) definition of depression, (b) seeking treatment, (c) coping and problem solving strategies, (d) types of emotional support, and (e) contributing factors to depression. Specific recommendations and interventions are suggested for mental health clinicians to become more educated and aware when working with Black adolescents.