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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 37, Number 2, April 2015


1. Evidenced-Based Relationship Practice: Enhancing Counselor Competence (Pages 95-108)

John Sommers-Flanagan

Defining mental health counselor competence is difficult. Unfortunately, professional definitions of competence often rely on abstract knowledge that is difficult for counselors to apply. This article highlights the history and terminology associated with the evidence-based movement in medicine, psychology, and counseling. Using this historical information as a foundation, a relationally-oriented, evidence-based practice model for achieving competence in mental health counseling is proposed. The model emphasizes such evidence-based relationship factors as (a) congruence and genuineness, (b) the working alliance, (c) unconditional positive regard or radical acceptance, (d) empathic understanding, (e) rupture and repair, (f) managing countertransference, (g) implementing in- and out-of-session (homework) procedures, and (h) progress monitoring. The purpose of the model is to articulate a distinctive and practical evidence-based approach that mental health counselors can wholeheartedly embrace.

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2. Supervisors’ Suggestions for Enhancing Counseling Regulatory Boards’ Sanctioned Supervision Practices (Pages 109-123)

Victoria E. Kress, Rachel M. O’Neill, Jake J. Protivnak and Nicole A. Stargell

Regulatory board-sanctioned supervision is intended to enhance the practice of disciplined
counselor licensees and to protect the public. A qualitative research design was used to assess the perceptions of four supervisors who provided board-sanctioned supervision. The themes greater board-generated communication and ethics-related considerations were identified. Suggestions for state counseling regulatory boards are discussed.
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3. Older Adults and Integrated Health Settings: Opportunities and Challenges for Mental Health Counselors (Pages 124-137)

Jill S. Goldsmith and Sharon E. Robinson Kurpius

The growing number of older adults and the increasing recognition and growth of integrated
health teams are creating expanded career opportunities for mental health counselors (MHCs). Collaborative integrated teams, staffed with medical personnel and MHCs, can provide comprehensive patient-centered care that addresses client issues from a biopsychosocial perspective. However, working with older adults on an integrated health team or in an interdisciplinary setting presents unique challenges and raises ethical issues. The evolving opportunities and strategies to address accompanying challenges are highlighted so that MHCs can be prepared to work effectively with older adults in interdisciplinary settings and on integrated health care teams.
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4. Detrimental Association: An Epistemological Connection of Dysfunction Within and Across Paradigms (Pages 138-151)

Jeffrey M. Warren and R. Rocco Cottone

The notion of common factors in counseling and psychotherapy theory is not new. This article contends that detrimental associations are the root of dysfunction and are common to all theories of counseling and psychotherapy. The article defines detrimental associations as organic or auxiliary connections formed by clients that lead to dysfunction. Associations deemed detrimental include a variety of aspects of a client’s life, depending upon the theoretical lens through which dysfunction is viewed. The article explores how detrimental associations are conceptualized by level and across theories and paradigms and discusses implications for professional counseling.
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5. Integrating Health and Wellness in Mental Health Counseling: Clinical, Educational, and Policy Implications (Pages 152-163)

Sejal M. Barden, Abigail H. Conley and Mark E. Young

Few counselor training programs offer wellness courses or training on how to ethically and
competently integrate physical and mental health issues when working with clients. This article highlights the interrelatedness of mental and physical health to build on the counseling profession’s own tradition of wellness and to encourage mental health counselors and counselor educators to adapt to changes in integrated healthcare. We propose that the mental health profession adopt competencies for wellness as part of standard counselor preparation and continuing education. Full Article


6. Finding Resilience: The Mediation Effect of Sense of Community on the Psychological Well-Being of Military Spouses (164-174)

Mei-Chuan Wang, Pius N. Nyutu, Kimberly K. Tran and Angela Spears

The goal of this study was to identify positive factors that increase the psychological well-being of military spouses in the areas of environmental mastery. We proposed that positive affect and social support from family and friends would have indirect effects on psychological well-being through their association with a greater sense of community with the military culture. Participants were 207 female spouses of active-duty service members. Data were analyzed using MEDIATE to test the mediational effect. Results indicated that social support from friends and positive affect did predict a sense of community, which in turn was associated with increased feelings of psychological well-being. The findings suggest that a perceived sense of military community helps military spouses gain a sense of mastery and control in a constantly changing environment.
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7. Roles, Attitudes, and Training Needs of Behavioral Health Clinicians in Integrated Primary Care (175-188)

Bethany P. Glueck

As integrated primary care (IPC) evolves, so does the new role of the behavioral health clinician (BHC). At present, mental health providers from various specialties are working as BHCs and adapting their training and skills to work as part of the medical team. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the experiences of BHCs who work in IPC so as to better understand their roles, attitudes, and training needs. The themes that emerged from semi-structured interviews suggest that the roles of a BHC are multifaceted and rooted in a holistic mind-body approach. Participants supported the need for additional training in graduate programs and internships for integrated care. The results informed a conceptual model of BHCs working in IPC. Full Article

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