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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 32, Number 4, October 2010


1. Editorial: Trustworthiness, Credibility, and Soundness: A Vision for Research in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling (Pages 283-287)

Rachel M. Hoffman

It is a privilege to have been named the new associate editor of research for the Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC), and an honor to have the opportunity to work with my esteemed colleagues Dr. James Rogers and Dr. Heather TrepaI. As I transition into my new role, I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated work of my predecessor, Dr. Mercedes Schneider. 
Full Article

2. Introduction to the Special Section on Nonsuicidal Self- Injury (NSSI)
(Pages 288-289)

Heather C. Trepal

We are pleased to present this special section of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling on the topic of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Recent research suggests that NSSI is common, particularly among adolescents (Nock & Prinstein, 2005) and college students (Whitlock, Eckenrode, & Silverman, 2006). Although over the past decade research on NSSI in both clinical and nonclinical populations has progressed, mental health counselors continue to search for best practices in diagnosing and treating clients who self-injure.
Full Article

3. Features of Psychopathology in Self-Injuring Female College Students (Pages 290-308)

Patrick L. Kerr; Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp

Although research on nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is accumulating, there is as yet little data on psychopathological features associated with NSSI in nonclinical samples. College students may be particularly susceptible to engaging in NSSI and NSSI may be phenomenologically and etiologically different for males and females. This archival study examined differences between college student women with (n = 34) and without (n = 32) a history of NSSI in scores on the clinical scales and subscales of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Multivariate analyses revealed significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety, borderline personality features, suicidality, and certain psychotic features in selfinjurers. Follow-up analysis identified four symptom themes associated with NSSI across diagnostic categories: emotional distress, physiological distress, cognitive distortion, and interpersonal difficulties. This study confirms previous findings of higher levels of affective symptoms in self-injurers. Unique findings of this study included significantly higher scores for self-injurers on the PAI Thought Disorder, Psychotic Experiences, and Hypervigilance subscales. This suggests a need to expand the conceptualization of the clinical correlates of NSSI to encompass a broader array of symptomatology. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.
Full Article

4. Self-Reported Experience of Self-Injurious Behavior in College Students (Pages 309-323)

Regina Kakhnovets; Hannah L. Young; Amanda Lienau Purnell; Edward Huebner; Christa Bishop

The purpose of this study was to gain firsthand qualitative information about the experience of self-injurious behavior (SIB) by asking the 79 participants to describe their experiences before, during, and after SIB. Students with a history of SIB were separated into two groups: those students who self-injured only once and those who had harmed themselves multiple times. The most common experiences for both groups directly before SIB were feeling depressed, angry, and out of control, but the two groups reported different experiences during and after SIB.
Full Article

5. Nonsuicidal Self-injury: Examining the Relationship Between Diagnosis and Gender (Pages 324-341)

Amanda C. Healey; Heather C. Trepal; Kelly Emelianchik-Key

This study examined the perceptions of counselors in training concerning nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors (NSSI), diagnosis, and the influence of gender-normative expectations on clinical decision making. Participants were asked to respond to a set of questions after reading a randomly assigned case study. The purpose was to determine the process through which counseling professionals diagnosed adolescents who self-injure and whether the sex of the client influenced the decision. Cases presented were identical except that the sex of the client was altered. It appears that societal expectations associated with biological sex may influence counselor diagnostic decisions at the training level. Implications for diagnosis, counselor training, and future research are presented.
Full Article

6. Adolescent Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Minimizing Client and Counselor Risk and Enhancing Client Care (Pages 342-353)

Rachel M. Hoffman; Victoria E. Kress

In this article, the authors present risk management considerations of which mental health counselors should be aware when counseling adolescents who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury. They address considerations related to self-injury and suicide, assessment and evaluation, countertransference, social contagion, and body privacy and make recommendations to minimize client and counselor risk while enhancing client care.
Full Article

7. Matching Animal-Assisted Therapy Techniques and Intentions with Counseling Guiding Theories (Pages 354-374)

Cynthia K. Chandler; Torey L. Portrie-Bethke; Casey A. Barrio Minton; Delini M. Fernando; Dana M. O’Callaghan

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) interventions are often used in mental health practice, yet there are few studies to assist mental health counselors in integrating AAT practice with theoretical foundations. The authors draw upon the literature on AAT intentions and techniques to illustrate how these practices are consistent with a variety of theoretical orientations. Case illustrations are provided.
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