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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 29, Number 1, January 2007


1. Disaster Response and the Mental Health Counselor (Pages 1-3)

James R. Rogers

The events of September 11, 2001, the Asian Tsunami of 2004 resulting from the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, and the devastation resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have increased our awareness of the need for trained mental health counselors able to respond within days and weeks of mass disaster events. In conjunction with the traditionally identified first responders (i.e., firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical personnel), the importance of maintaining a trained cadre of early mental health responders has become increasingly evident (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2002; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2004). In fact, in the months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, a group of experts in the field of mental health and mass violence was convened to identify best practices related to early psychological intervention following large scale disasters either from natural causes or those caused by human agency.
Full Article

2. Confronting the Realities of Volunteering for a National Disaster (Pages 4-16)

Alise G. Bartley

Responding to a national appeal for mental health volunteers to assist with disaster relief efforts is an altruistic act. However, the reality of the actual work of a mental health volunteer can be jarring. In the course of providing services to traumatized individuals, mental health providers are in a position to share the emotional burden of the trauma, become a witness to the damage, recognize the realities of dealing with federal and state agencies, and observe the inequitable distribution of resources. The following is my story of what it was like before, during, and after my experience as a mental health volunteer in the Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi area two months after the destruction of August 2005. I hope that sharing my story will encourage other mental health counselors to play a role in responding to the needs created by events like Hurricane Katrina.
Full Article

3. Psychological First Aid (Pages 17-49)

Josef I. Ruzek; Melissa J. Brymer; Anne K. Jacobs; Christopher M. Layne; Eric M. Vernberg; Patricia J. Watson

Psychological First Aid (PFA) consists of a systematic set of helping actions aimed at reducing initial post-trauma distress and supporting short- and long-term adaptive functioning. Designed as an initial component of a comprehensive disaster/trauma response, PFA is constructed around eight core actions: contact and engagement, safety and comfort, stabilization, information gathering, practical assistance, connection with social supports, information on coping support, and linkage with collaborative services. PFA for children and adolescents focuses on these same core actions, with modifications to make them developmentally appropriate. Formal evaluation of the effectiveness of PFA is needed and it is hoped that development of a PFA Field Operations Guide will facilitate such evaluation.
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4. Assessing Suicide Risk in Children: Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Interviewing (Pages 50-66)

Casey A. Barrio

Although suicide is considered a leading cause of death for all age groups, resources and recommendations regarding methods of assessment of suicide risk in children appears to be scattered across related disciplines. Most risk assessment measures for “youth” are intended for use with adolescents, and the nature of children’s developmental functioning presents particular challenges for accurate assessment. This article includes a brief review of risk factors and recommendations for preparing to conduct suicide risk assessments with children. Guidelines for mental health counselors who conduct developmentally appropriate risk assessments with children are detailed, and suggestions for consulting with caregivers are provided. 
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5. A Narrative Approach to Body Dysmorphic Disorder (Pages 67-80)

Daiana da Costa; Treasa M. Nelson; James Rudes; Jeffrey T. Guterman

Narrative therapy is proposed as an effective treatment for body dysmorphic disorder. A case example illustrates the clinical application. Implications for the theory and practice of body dysmorphic disorder are considered.
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6. Sanctioned Supervision: Voices from the Experts (Pages 81-92)

Clarrice A. Rapisarda; Paula J. Britton

This qualitative study took an initial step in gathering ideas from professionals and academics in the counseling field regarding the efficacy of sanctioned supervision as an intervention for counselor impairment.The results of the focus group suggest that sanctioned supervision is a worthwhile endeavor but needs improved structure, organization, and clarity. Based on feedback from study participants, the authors developed a preliminary model as to how sanctioned supervision could work more effectively.
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