The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unparalleled disruption of student learning, disengaged students from school and peers, increased exposure to trauma, and had a negative impact on students’ mental health and well-being. School counselors are the most accessible mental health care professionals in a school, providing support for all students’ social and emotional needs and academic success. This study used an exploratory survey design to investigate the perspectives of 207 school counselors in Tennessee regarding students’ COVID-19–related mental health, academic functioning, and interpersonal skills; interventions school counselors have deployed to support students; and barriers they have encountered. Results indicate that students’ mental health has significantly declined across all grade levels and is interconnected with academic, social, and behavioral problems; school counselors have provided support consistent with crisis counseling; and caseload and non-counseling duties have created significant barriers in the provision of care.
Although researchers have found that patient weight bias negatively impacts health care professionals, research is limited on client weight bias toward counselors. Given that a client’s perception of their counselor impacts the therapeutic alliance, more research is needed to understand client weight bias toward counselors. To fill this research gap, we conducted a quasi-experimental study examining people’s weight bias toward a hypothetical counselor who was overweight, average weight, or underweight. Participants (N = 189) received a random assignment to a questionnaire featuring one of the three hypothetical counselors. Participants indicated their willingness to trust them, select them as a counselor, and follow their counsel. Results from a Welch ANOVA analysis showed a statistically significantly greater preference for average-weight and overweight counselors than those who are underweight. Additionally, the participants were less willing to follow counsel from overweight and underweight counselors. Implications for counselors are discussed.
Teen dating violence (TDV) is an ongoing epidemic in the United States. Subsequently, gender symmetry regarding the experience and perpetration of violence continues to be a prevalent debate in American society. TDV is a clinical concern that can impact clients’ safety; therefore, counselors must be adequately trained and cognizant of any biases that may influence the assessment and treatment of survivors of abuse. We conducted a qualitative research study using case vignettes to explore how counseling students conceptualize and propose treatment of TDV with male and female clients. Six overarching categories and 19 corresponding themes emerged, with gender bias as the most notable finding of the study. We conclude by discussing the implications for counseling and providing recommendations for educational standards and best practices to reduce gender bias and promote more inclusive treatment.
This study, using a transcendental phenomenological approach, explored the perceptions and experiences of school counselor trainees participating in a self-care course grounded in mindfulness and social–emotional learning. Seven students who enrolled in a master’s-level school counseling program and completed a summer self-care course shared their experiences, leading to the identification of five key themes: (a) recognizing the importance and need for self-care, (b) cultivating a nonjudgmental mindset toward challenging emotions, (c) integrating self-care into both personal and professional settings, (d) an increase in compassion and empowerment, and (e) a commitment to ongoing learning and advocacy. The school counselor trainees’ narratives highlight the importance of self-care as a way to reclaim power within themselves and become change agents in their school communities.
In this transcendental phenomenological study, we interviewed seven adult adoptees regarding their lived experiences of growing up as an adoptee and how this shaped their perception of loss, grief, and counseling in relation to their adoption. Our analysis revealed an overarching concept of the level and manner with which the participants integrated their adoption story into their life narrative and whether loss, grief, and working with a counselor were significant integration factors. As a result, six themes emerged, including ambivalence toward loss and grief, how one’s adoption story was impactful, issues with connection, identity curiosity, relational distrust, and involvement with counseling. We discuss these ﬁndings and identify implications for counselors working with adoptees.
Microaggressions can and do occur in the counseling process, yet there is a dearth of literature about how counselors-in-training (CITs) experience this phenomenon from clients or how they may respond to clients who perpetuate microaggressions against them in a therapeutic setting. Therefore, in this constructivist phenomenological study, we explored CITs’ experiences of microaggressions from clients in the counseling process. Two interviews with six participants of various marginalized identities revealed the following themes: (a) internal reactions, (b) attempts to contextualize, (c) prevalence of microaggressions, (d) navigating microaggressions, and (e) seeking support. Findings and implications for CITs and counselor educators and supervisors are discussed.