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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 33, Number 1, January 2011


1. Introduction to the Special Section on Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
(Pages 1-3)

Loreto R. Prieto

I am pleased to pen the introduction to this special section, written by Dr. Elizabeth Altmaier and her research team at The University of Iowa. I had the pleasure of editing their work and helping this section to evolve to its present state. We on the JMHC editorial staff hope this special section will be helpful to our readers. 
Full Article

2. Concepts and Controversies in Grief and Loss (Pages 4-10)

Robyn A. Howarth

Although grief is a universal experience, the ways in which it occurs are not universally agreed upon. In fact, there is considerable controversy about the “normal” duration of grief, its expected outcome, and its course. Although most grieving adults will achieve a sense of normalcy at some point, others seem not to do so. Continuing impairment by grief raises a question: Is the experience qualitatively different from normal grief or is it different only in degree? This article discusses grief conceptualizations, including that of complicated grief, and approaches to grief counseling.
Full Article

3. Bereavement Among African Americans and Latino/a Americans (Pages 11-20)

Joleen C. Schoulte

Mourning is the term for the culturally-informed practices through which grief is expressed. Although grief is a universal human experience, mourning varies greatly by culture and ethnic group. In this article, I examine bereavement and mourning in African American and Latino/a American groups. I also discuss broader cultural issues related to assessment and intervention.
Full Article

4. Promoting the Adjustment of Parentally Bereaved Children (Pages 21-32)

Robyn A. Howarth

The death of a parent is one of the most stressful life events to encounter during childhood. Given its detrimental impact on psychological development, a better understanding of outcomes associated with childhood bereavement and factors that affect these outcomes is necessary. The adjustment of bereaved children is linked to such factors as age of the child, sex of child and parent, circumstances of parent death, and the adjustment of the surviving caregiver. In this article I highlight considerations that may increase children’s positive adjustment to parental death and also discuss specific treatment recommendations.
Full Article

5. Best Practices in Counseling Grief and Loss: Finding Benefit from Trauma (Pages 33-45)

Elizabeth M. Altmaier

Grief may be a primary presenting concern of clients or may form a background to another presenting concern. In either case, use of best practices in assessing and treating grief is essential. In this article I review what best practices are in general and in assessment and treatment. I also evaluate ways to measure grief and describe domains of the grief experience. The article also discusses controversies within the literature on grief counseling, including the potential for deterioration after treatment. It concludes with a view of counseling grief that promotes finding benefit from trauma.
Full Article

6. Supplemental Resources for Counseling Grieving Clients (Pages 46-50)

Zachary Sussman

We recommend the following resources to give depth to the topics discussed in this special section. These materials may also be beneficial to clients or their parents. I will briefly review target audiences for these resources.
Full Article

7. The Significance of Spirituality for Individuals with Chronic Illness: Implications for Mental Health Counseling (Pages 51-66)

Lindsey M. Nichols; Brandon Hunt

Understanding the significance of spirituality for individuals with chronic illness is advantageous to mental health counselors because it combines knowledge from multiple disciplines to find approaches useful to help individuals create meaning and purpose in their lives. Chronic illness is defined by not only the physical but also the mental and spiritual effects of the disease. This review of the literature addresses ways spirituality can help people with chronic illness and what it means to individuals undergoing physical and emotional challenges as a result of their illness. Recommendations are provided for how mental health counselors can help clients with chronic illness explore spirituality.
Full Article

8. E-mail Communication: Issues for Mental Health Counselors (Pages 67-79)

Loretta J. Bradley; Bret Hendricks; Robin Lock; Peggy P. Whiting; Gerald Parr

In an era where fast, efficient communication is needed, e-mail has emerged. From its beginning in 1971, professionals have used e-mail to communicate—lawyers, counselors, psychologists, and social workers with clients; nurses and physicians with patients. But despite its advantages, e-mail can cause problems. This article discusses both the positive use of electronic communication and the need to address fundamental counseling issues that arise in using it. The article reflects the AMHCA and ACA ethical codes for the use of technology in the counseling relationship. It also looks at e-mail communication between counselor and client with special attention to challenges of which counselors should be aware.
Full Article

9. The Relationship Between Acculturation and Mental Health of Arab Americans (Pages 80-92)

Mireille Aprahamian; David M. Kaplan; Amy M. Windham; Judith A. Sutter; Jan Visser

This study investigated the relationship between mental health and the degree of acculturation among Arab Americans. Subjects were adults of Arab or Chaldean descent who took part in the 2003 Detroit Arab American Study (DAAS). Data from 1,016 Arab American families revealed that the relationship between acculturation and mental health is complex and influenced by a number of other variables. There was significant evidence that besides demographic variables, factors like religion, discrimination experiences, and age at migration are also related to the mental health of Arab Americans. However, acculturation was not found to be as significant in the current study. Implications for mental health counselors who work with Arab Americans and researchers who study this population are presented.
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