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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 35, Number 1, January 2013

1. Older Adults and Sexuality: Implications for Counseling Ethnic and Sexual Minority Clients (Pages 1-14)

Arien K. Muzacz and Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith

The literature on older adults and sexuality suggests that culturally sensitive counseling may give older adults an opportunity to express sexual concerns and promote healthier attitudes toward sexuality. Guidelines for counseling older adults who self-identify with ethnic minority groups or as gay, lesbian, or bisexual are given, with recommendations for training, practice, and research. Full article


2. Informed Consent, Confidentiality, and Diagnosing: Ethical Guidelines for Counselor Practice (Pages 15-28)

Victoria E. Kress, Rachel M. Hoffman, Nicole Adamson and Karen Eriksen

Informed consent and confidentiality are discussed in the context of counselors’ use of the DSM diagnostic system. Considerations that can facilitate counselor diagnostic decision-making related to informed consent and confidentiality are identified in a case application. Suggestions that can enhance ethical diagnostic practices are provided. Full article


3. Creative and Novel Approaches to Empathy: A Neo-Rogerian Perspective (Pages 29-42)

Ed Neukrug, Hannah Bayne, Lashauna Dean-Nganga and Cassandra Pusateri

This article describes the historical antecedents of empathy, elaborates on the Rogerian definition of basic and advanced empathy, and relates how some authors have expanded on those definitions. It then describes six creative and novel empathic responses that fit the original Rogers definition of empathy: reflecting deeper feelings, pointing out discrepancies, and the use of visual imagery, analogies, metaphors, and targeted self-disclosure. The benefits and limits of how empathy is taught in counselor training programs are discussed and ways seasoned counselors can improve their skill in making complex empathic responses are suggested. Full article


4. The Toxicity of Shame Applications for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Pages 43-59)

Daniel Gutierrez and W. Bryce Hagedorn

Although shame is a detrimental emotional state often found in a variety of mental health concerns, treatment approaches for addressing it are scarce. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based treatment practice that has been effective in several applications, including the treatment of shame (Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Masuda, & Lillis, 2006; Luoma, Kohlenberg, Hayes, & Fletcher, 2011). ACT focuses on the development of six core skills for increasing client psychological flexibility. The article presents primary ACT techniques, case studies, and considerations for counselors. Full article


5. Hope Inspiration among People Living with HIV/AIDS: Theory and Implications for Counselors (Pages 60-75)

Kirk E. Zinck and John R. Cutcliffe

Despite the dramatic reversal in prognosis for people living long-term with HIV/AIDS
(PLWHA), the literature indicates, counter-intuitively, that PLWHA often do not have much hope for the future. The authors undertook a grounded theory study (Cutcliff & Zinck, 2011) that resulted in a four-stage theory of hope inspiration for PLWHA. Both the core variable, “Turning from death to life,” and the four stages of the theory have significant practice, education, and policy implications for counselors working with PLWHA, which this article explores in detail. It draws attention to specific counselor qualities (i.e., awareness, possessing a working knowledge of HIV/AIDS) and a sense of hope that the authors argue is needed to underpin effective work with PLWHA. It describes hope-inspiring interventions—witnessing hopelessness, punctuating resources, networking, and re-storying—that counselors might consider, linking each to the theory and stages of hope inspiration. Full article

6. Effective Clinical Supervision in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs and Counselor Job Performance (Pages 76-94)

Tanja C. Laschober, Lillian Turner de Tormes Eby and Julia B. Sauer

When mental health counselors have inadequate training in substance use disorders (SUDs), effective clinical supervision (ECS) may advance their professional development. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ECS is related to the job performance of SUD counselors. Data were obtained in person via paper-and-pencil surveys from 392 matched SUD counselor-clinical supervisor dyads working in 27 SUD treatment organizations across the United States. Counselors rated ECS on five multi-item scales (sponsoring counselors’ careers, providing challenging assignments, role modeling, accepting/confirming counselors’ competence, and overall supervisor task proficiency). Clinical supervisors rated counselor job performance on two multi-item scales (task performance and performance within the supervisory relationship). Using mixed-effects models, we found that most aspects of ECS are related to SUD counselor job performance. Thus, ECS may indeed enhance counselor performance on tasks and within the supervisory relationship, which may offset limited formal SUD training. Full article

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