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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 35, Number 4, October 2013


1. Smart Phone Applications in Clinical Practice

Joel Epstein and Amanda W. Bequette

Smart phone usage has greatly increased in recent years. Not only has the computing power of these mobile devices dramatically improved but so has the variety of functions they can accomplish—an amazing array of tasks that once would have been considered remarkable. Historically, mental health professionals have been quick to embrace smart phone technology and there are now literally hundreds of applications for practitioners and clients alike. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using smart phone technology in clinical practice and considers the implications for the future of clinical practice. Full article


2. Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse: Considerations and Guidelines for Mental Health Counselors (296-309)

Kathryn L. Henderson

Mental health counselors serve as mandated reporters of child abuse. Considerations for practice for clinical mental health counselors when reporting child abuse are reviewed. Issues central to the decision to report are discussed, as well as possible outcomes of the report. The nature of suspecting abuse rather than proving abuse is reviewed, as are resistance to reporting and suggestions for how to counter resistance. Counseling techniques to use in session when abuse is suspected are discussed, as are the clinical implications in the aftermath of a report. Online resources related to child abuse are provided. Full article


3. Shared Trauma in Counseling: Information and Implications for Counselors (Pages 310-323)

Chastity Hope Bell and Edward H. Robinson III

A trauma is shared when both counselor and client experience the same traumatic event simultaneously. Disasters often cause mass trauma, affecting counselors both personally and professionally. The purpose of this article is to (a) discuss conceptualizations of shared trauma, and offer a comprehensive definition; (b) educate counselors on the effects of shared trauma; and (c) discuss the implications of shared trauma and strategies for its treatment. Full article


4. Recovering Identity: A Qualitative Investigation of a Survivor of Dissociative Identity Disorder (Pages 324-341)

Jesse Fox, Hope Bell, Lamerial Jacobson and Gulonora Hundley

This qualitative study investigated the subjective experience of a female survivor of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The study utilized the narrative method, interviewing the participant three separate times. Each semi-structured interview reconstructed a particular time in the participant’s life (past, present, and future) as it related to the disorder. Three themes emerged from the participant’s experiences with DID: (a) therapeutic outcomes, (b) chronology of DID, and (c) misperceptions of DID. Full article


5. Condemning Self, Condemning Other: Blame and Mental Health in women Suffering Stillbirth (Pages 342-359)

Joanne Cacciatore, J. Frederik Frøen and Michael Killian

Every year around the globe there are more than two million stillbirths, yet stillbirth is generally treated as a non-event, considered less impactful than the death of a live-born child. In up to 60 percent of third-trimester stillbirths, the causes of death were attributed to maternal conditions or were “undetermined.” As a result, mothers blame themselves or specific others. This analysis set out to determine how the attitudes of 2,232 bereaved mothers predict their mental health outcomes measuring depressive and anxious symptoms with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL). Of the women sampled, 24.6% reported blaming themselves, and 42.3% reported elevated HSCL mean scores. Self-blame in particular is correlated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Multivariate analyses predicting elevated HSCL scores demonstrated the importance of time after death, level of education, and reported abuse during pregnancy in the models, as did self-blame and blaming others. Controlling for other demographic and pregnancy-related variables, self-blame was the strongest predictor of poor mental health outcomes. Implications for mental health counselors are discussed. Full article


6. Scope of Practice Impact on Employability in New York State: Director and Counselor Views (Pages 360-376)

Steven J. Kassirer, Nicholas M. Delaney, Loren M. Goldstein, Megan E. Taylor, Robert A. Dobmeier and Thomas J. Hernández

An exploratory survey revealed the effects of New York State’s Licensed Mental Health Counselor Law on hiring Licensed Mental Health Counselors. The state Office of the Professions interpreted the absence of the word diagnosis in the law as indicating that LMHCs are ineligible to diagnose mental disorders. Directors of mental health agencies (n = 22) reported that LMHCs are qualified to work in state-licensed programs and are satisfied with the quality of their work, yet they hesitate or are unwilling to hire LMHCs due to reimbursement obstacles arising from the law. LMHCs (n = 23) reported being denied opportunities for employment, promotion, and insurance reimbursement and that consumer access to care is being restricted. It is advised that licensed professional counselors advocate for inclusion of the term diagnosis in the law in New York and in other states where the practice of professional counseling is unduly restricted. Full article

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