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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 26, Number 1, January 2004


1. The “No-Show” Phenomenon and the Issue of Resistance Among African American Female Patients at an Urban Health Care Center (Pages 1-12)
Romeria Tidwell

Using data from 90 African American female medical and mental health patients, this exploratory study examined the reasons patients missed scheduled appointments at a low-income, urban healthcare center. Results indicated a clear difference between the two groups in their appointment-keeping behavior. Mental health no-show patients were more likely than medical no-show patients to cite external factors such as a broken-down car or a scheduling conflict to explain missed appointments. The article also presents a discussion of resistance and its possible role in the no-show phenomenon. Implications and recommendations for future research are also presented. Full Article

2. What We Don’t Know CAN Hurt Us: Mental Health Counselors’ Implicit Assumptions About Human Nature (Pages 13-24)
Richard W. Auger

All people have implicit assumptions, often existing outside conscious awareness, about a range of human attributes. Mental health counselors may have unique sets of implicit assumptions about human nature which affect their view of client problems and influence their professional behavior. This article describes possible sets of counseling-relevant assumptions about human nature and discusses the importance of mental health counselors gaining greater awareness of their assumptions. Strategies for increasing this awareness are presented, and implications for mental health counseling educators and supervisors are discussed. Full Article

3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Review and Call to Research (Pages 25-38)
Lisa D. Smith; Patrick L. Peck

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT; Linehan, 1993a) is a systematic and integrative orientation to treating borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, may present a myriad of challenges and difficulties for the beginning as well as the seasoned mental health professional. Although some empirical support exists for DBT, more is needed. The current article is, in essence, a call for research, but is also an effort at introducing DBT and its foundations and stages of individual and group therapy. The goal is to give the reader a clearer understanding of DBT through a review of the empirical evidence, the therapeutic process, and the implications for mental health counselors. Full Article

4. Editor’s Note on Multicultural Competencies (Pages 39-40)

M. Carole Pistole,

The Journal of Mental Health Counseling has a tradition of providing, through peer reviewed articles, a forum for stimulating and engaging scholarly dialogue on issues that are relevant to mental health professionals’ work and development. Consistent with that history, this issue’s special section of JMHC’s Professional Exchange consists of six articles in which the authors’ express their views on multicultural competencies. These articles harbinger back to the Weinrach and Thomas article that was published in JMHC in January 2002. In publishing this Professional Exchange set of articles, AMHCA’s leadership and I assume that it is obvious to all readers and authors that the written opinions and positions, like other publications in refereed journals, represent the scholarly work of the particular professionals. The authors’ opinions are not reflective of the position of the journal’s editor or its editorial board, and the articles do not represent the views of AMHCA’s leadership. The journal, though published by AMHCA, does not make policy for Mental Health Counselors and certainly does not intrude into other mental health professions by suggesting policy for another organization. Full Article

5. Mental Health Counseling and the AMCD Multicultural Counseling Competencies: A Civil Debate (Pages 41-43)
Kenneth R. Thomas; Stephen G. Weinrach

This article introduces a JMHC special section on the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development’s (AMCD) Multicultural Counseling Competencies (Arredondo et al., 1996). Authors were asked to respond to Weinrach and Thomas’s (2002) recent critique of the Competencies published in JMHC. The present article provides an overview of the positions taken by Weinrach and Thomas in their critique. Four articles by six preeminent leaders in the field of multiculturalism follow this introduction.The special section concludes with an article by Weinrach and Thomas, who respond to the reactors’ comments and expand on their original position. Full Article

6. Multicultural Counseling Competencies = Ethical Practice (Pages 44-55)
Patricia Arredondo; Rebecca Toporek

The adoption of the Competencies is indicative of ethical and culturally responsive practices. Historical marginalization based on ethnic, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic differences and scientific racism have adversely affected the mental health professions and clients deserving of services.A rationale for the adoption of the Competencies is articulated based on existing research and examples of application of the Competencies. Rebuttals are made to criticisms about the Competencies by Weinrach and Thomas (2002). Viewing the Competencies as a living document indicates their future evolution as a set of culturally universal and culturally relative guidelines for the mental health professions. Full Article

7. Multicultural Counseling Competencies in a Pluralistic Society (Pages 56-66)
Hardin L. K. Coleman

Weinrach and Thomas (2002) have articulated a number of concerns raised by the proposed standards of multicultural counseling competencies (Arredondo et al., 1996). This response to their critique concludes that they have raised many legitimate ideas that need to be incorporated into the competencies, and that there is a great need for professionals to accept a common set of standards to guide best counseling practices in a pluralistic society. Full Article

8. Do We Need Multicultural Counseling Competencies? (Pages 67-73)
C. H. Patterson

Weinrach and Thomas (2002) have shown rather conclusively that the Competencies are irreparably flawed. The attempt to develop such a document was misguided in the first place. There is no need for such a document, and thus no purpose in attempting to remedy its flaws. In the present discussion, I consider the more general problems with multicultural counseling. In addition, I propose a general solution to the problems of counseling clients who are members of a wide variety of culturally distinct groups. The Competencies are lacking any philosophical or theoretical foundations and are based on two untenable assumptions. Full Article

9. Reactions to the Multicultural Counseling Competencies Debate
(Pages 74-80)
Clemmont E. Vontress; Morris L. Jackson

Two well-known cross-cultural counselor educators present their thoughts on some of the criticisms of the AMDC Multicultural Counseling Competencies. First, they posit their agreements and disagreements with Weinrach and Thomas’ (2002) points of contentions. Then, they indicate why they object to many of the components of the Competencies, which they consider to be essentially anti-therapeutic because of their focus on group stereotypes instead of the uniqueness of individual clients. Full Article

10. The AMCD Multicultural Counseling Competencies: A Critically Flawed Initiative (Pages 81-93)

Stephen G. Weinrach; Kenneth R. Thomas

This article responds to four reactions to Weinrach and Thomas’s (2002) critique of the AMCD Multicultural Counseling Competencies. Among the major points made in the present article are the following: Although racial discrimination exists, both within and outside of the counseling context, the Competencies do little to combat it. In fact, the Competencies actually promote viewing persons primarily as members of specific racial and ethnic groups. The Competencies exist at a symbolic and an applied level. Significant problems exist for mental health counselors at both of these levels.The Competencies’ greatest flaw is their preoccupation with perceived deficits in clients, the counseling profession, and American society. It is virtually impossible to separate the content of the Competencies from the political process that has surrounded efforts to promote their universal adoption. Full Article

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