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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 38, Number 2, april 2016

1. GUEST EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION: Integrating Neurocounseling into the Counseling Profession: An Introduction

Lori A. Russell-Chapin

This special issue on neurocounseling offers diverse examples of the integration of neuroscience into the practice of counseling. These introductory remarks define neurocounseling, neurotherapy, neurofeedback, self-regulation and therapeutic life changes. Examples of each are offered to assist the readers in better understanding how teaching, practicing and researching the physiological underpinnings of many mental health concerns expands the skills and efficacy of all counselors.

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2. Neuroeducation: Integrating Brain-Based Psychoeducation into Clinical Practice

Raissa Miller

Understanding and integrating neuroscience research into clinical practice represents a rapidly growing area in mental health. An expanding body of neuroscience literature increasingly informs clinical practice by validating theory, guiding clinical assessment and conceptualization, directing effective interventions, and facilitating cross-disciplinary communication. Little attention, however, has been given to the use of neuroeducation with clients. In this article, the author provides mental health counselors with a definition of neuroeducation and a rationale for incorporating neuroeducation into clinical practice. The author identifies common neuroeducation topics and offers activity suggestions to illustrate their use in counseling. Finally, the author offers best practices for implementing neuroeducation, including attention to counselor competence, client readiness, and neuroscience of learning principles. Implications for research are also discussed.

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3. Neurofeedback for Peak Performance Training

Nicole C. Pacheco

Neurofeedback has been found to be effective in the treatment of a number of clinical disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD) (Lubar, 2003), obsessive-compulsive disorder (Hammond, 2003), seizures (Sterman, 2000), and substance abuse (Burkett, Cummins, Dickson, & Skolnick, 2005; Saxby & Peniston, 1995). The benefits of neurofeedback have also been found useful in peak performance training. These benefits include improving attention/concentration, imagery, arousal level, and decreasing worry and rumination (Williams, 2006). The combination of cognitive, emotional, and psychophysiological benefits from neurofeedback results in improved performance. Due to individual differences in brain activity, as well as the large diversity of skills required in different sports, neurofeedback for performance training is not a “one size fits all” approach (Wilson, Thompson, Thompson, & Peper, 2011). In order to obtain optimal results, neurofeedback for peak performance training begins with appropriate assessment and evaluation of an individual's brain wave (electroencephalographic) activity. Individualized training plans are based upon the assessment findings and the specific needs of the targeted sport or activity (Wilson et al., 2011). This article will discuss the benefits and applications of neurofeedback for peak performance training and the importance of assessment to create effective training programs.

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4. The Inflammatory Hypothesis of Depression: Implications for Diagnosis and Practice

Sean B. Hall, Laura K. Jones, Larry Tyson, Kristen Woods, and Amber Keltz

Research is beginning to offer new insights into the physiological mechanisms that underlie the complexities of major depressive disorder (MDD). Additionally, several lines of research have begun to link stress and inflammation to symptoms of depression (Lotrich, 2015; Slavich & Irwin, 2014). This manuscript will summarize the existing literature from medicine, public health, and neuroscience to review the neural, physiological, and molecular pathways that underlie the relationship between stress, inflammation, and depressive symptoms. Implications for counseling will be discussed.

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5. Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive-Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: A Preliminary Study

Thomas A. Field, Eric T. Beeson and Laura K. Jones

The field of neuroscience has influenced revisions to conventional models of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In the mental health counseling field, a conceptual model of neuroscience-informed cognitive-behavior therapy (n-CBT) was first published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling in 2015. The present article reviews findings from the first six months of a year-long pilot study that examined counselor and client use and perceptions of n-CBT following application in clinical practice settings. Counselors reported successful alleviation of client symptomatology with n-CBT, particularly anxiety and depressive disorders. Counselors and clients also held similar and consistently high perceptions of n-CBT's credibility and the likelihood of improvement when using the model.

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6. Developing a Specialty in Neurofeedback: Decision Points

Theodore J. Chapin

This article reviews several important considerations in making the decision to develop a specialty in neurofeedback (NFB). These include: interest in expanding one's clinical expertise in neuroanatomy and neuroscience; aptitude for work with computers, software and equipment; and ethical considerations such as boundaries of practice, qualification, skillful practice, specialty supervision and continuing education. It also reviews important practical issues such as program design and focus, promotion, billing challenges and costs of training, supervision, equipment and supplies. The article then concludes with a brief discussion of the potential value of a NFB specialty to clients, counselors and the counseling profession.

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7. Exploring Internet Addiction as a Process Addiction

Kristy L. Carlisle, Robert M. Carlisle, Gina B. Polychronopoulos, Emily Goodman-Scott and Andrea Kirk-Jenkins

Internet addiction is an emerging global problem with inconsistent nomenclature, diagnostic criteria, and assessment tools. This review explores the complex and conflicting reports of Internet addiction in the literature in an effort to pinpoint the status of this phenomenon. We cite literature related to process additions in order to provide a framework for Internet addiction's potential place amongst diagnosable disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). Clinical implications of working with people with Internet addiction are emphasized, as is the need for future research.

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