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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 33, Number 4, October 2011


1. The Role of Psychopharmacology in Mental Health: A Response to Kaut (2011) (Pages 283-294)

Thomas L. Murray, Jr.

This article replies to comments made in the July 2011 issue of this journal on the author’s original article (Murray, 2009). Kaut (2011) encourages mental health counselors to consider biological reductionism as the preferred lens through which to understand both psychological and emotional symptoms and the high prevalence and superior efficacy of psychopharmaceuticals. His position stands in stark contrast to what I espoused in 2009, when I drew parallels between the methods of the psychopharmaceutical industrial complex and those used in cult indoctrination. While Kaut focuses on biological reductionism and the legitimacy of pharmacological intervention, I propose that mental health counselors have an ethical mandate to confront the oppressive effects of dominant social narratives associated with the psychiatric disease model and move toward a more socially just understanding of the role of psychopharmacology.
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2. A Compassion-Focused Approach to Nonsuicidal Self-Injury
(Pages 295-311)

K. Jessica Van Vliet; Genevieve R. C. Kalnins

Mental health counselors working with adolescents and young adults often encounter nonsuicidal selfinjury. Compassion-focused therapy (CFT), a form of cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help people relate to themselves with greater compassion, is proposed as an approach for addressing the most common underlying functions of nonsuicidal self-injury. This article reviews the theoretical underpinnings and goals of CFT and discusses how it can be used in counseling clients who self-injure. It describes strategies and techniques that target client attention, imagery, feeling, thinking, and behaviors and offers guidelines and considerations for using compassion-focused interventions for nonsuicidal self-injury. 
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3. Searching for a Good Night’s Sleep: What Mental Health Counselors Can Do About the Epidemic of Poor Sleep (Pages 312-326)

Dolores T. Puterbaugh

Sleep problems are epidemic in the United States. Many adults complain of poor sleep yet engage in behaviors that are counterproductive to sleep. This article briefly reviews recent research on the treatment of insomnia and discusses application of mental health counseling strategies for treatment. Case studies illustrate the application of current research within counselor areas of expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy and behavioral counseling.
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4. Enhancing Attitudes and Reducing Fears about Mental Health Counseling: An Analogue Study (Pages 327-346)

Stefanía Ægisdóttir; Michael P. O’Heron; Joel M. Hartong; Sarah A. Haynes; Miranda K. Linville

This study examined the effects on 330 college students of addressing and validating negative client attitudes and fears associated with seeking counseling at a university counseling center, and client willingness to engage in counseling past the first session. Results suggest that addressing fears and negative beliefs about counseling during an intake interview influenced male students who had not previously sought counseling. Their image concerns were reduced and their tolerance for stigma associated with seeking counseling increased. Suggestions about how to address negative attitudes and fears about counseling are provided.
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5. Gender and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders: Implications for Mental Health Counseling (Pages 347-358)

Robert C. Schwartz; Jonathan Lent; Jonathan Geihsler

The DSM-IV-TR and epidemiological studies have documented disproportionate gender-related prevalence rates for various mental disorders. However, mental health counselors have largely been omitted from the research base. This study investigated whether gender-specific prevalence rates differ in terms of counselor diagnoses of certain mood, psychotic, adjustment, childhood, and substance-related disorders, and whether these diagnoses exhibit the same gender-related differences as those reported in the DSM-IV-TR and by researchers who are not counselors (N =1,583). Chi square analyses revealed that all disorders studied were disproportionately diagnosed at rates consistent with previously published gender-specific statistics. Clinical and research implications are discussed as they relate to mental health counseling.
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6. Helping Society’s Outcasts: The Impact of Counseling Sex Offenders (Pages 359-376)

Amy Sholler Dreier; Stephen Wright

The purpose of this qualitative study, which uses a constructivist approach, was to explore the impacts on mental health counselors of counseling convicted sex offenders. Five participants were interviewed using a semistructured format. The data were analyzed using a phenomenological method by breaking down the interviews into themes, comparing the participants’ experiences, and determining the essence of those experiences. Themes identified were feelings of increased competence, closeness, and support from coworkers and supervisors; belief in a mission or responsibility for safety; disconnect from general society; intrusive thoughts of traumatic material; and increased suspicion of others. The findings suggest that mental health workers experience both positive and negative impacts from counseling convicted sex offenders. The research and practice implications for counselors are discussed.
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