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AMHCA Home Study Opportunities
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We offer special pricing for members on AMHCA home-study programs. Watch a past webinar (below) or read an article in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, take the quiz and pass to earn your CE.

 

Introduction to the new AMHCA Code of Ethics

1 hour

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Risk Prevention: Compliance with Ethical Standards and Best Practices

1 hour

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Practice for Profit: Charge what you're worth and fill your appointment book by dropping your money issues!

1 hour

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New Roles for CMHCs in Treating Eating Disorders

1.5 hours

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Counseling People with Cancer

1 hour

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Webinar 2: Do you have the language?

1 hour

Dr. James Messina is back to give us the knowledge, terminology and communication skills that are needed in integrated settings.

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Introduction to the new AMHCA Standards

1 hour

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Earn CEs While Reading the Journal of Mental Health Counseilng


NEW! Attachment, Self-Esteem and Subjective Well-Being Among Survivors of Childhood Sexual Trauma

Emily L. Barnum and Kristin M. Perrone-McGover

The current study is a quantitative exploration of the relationships between attachment security, childhood sexual trauma, sexual self-esteem, and subjective well-being. It was predicted that higher levels of secure attachment, lower presence of childhood sexual trauma and higher levels of sexual self-esteem would contribute to higher levels of subjective well-being. Participants were 213 undergraduate students at a Midwestern university. Theories of attachment (Bowlby, 1973) and well-being (Lent, 2004) provided a framework to guide the hypotheses of the present study. We hypothesized that higher attachment security would be related to higher sexual self-esteem and higher subjective well-being, and that participants who scored higher on a scale measuring childhood sexual trauma would have lower sexual self-esteem and lower subjective well-being. It was found that high levels of attachment security and sexual self-esteem predicted high levels of subjective well-being, whereas presence of childhood sexual trauma predicted lower levels of sexual self-esteem. Results from hierarchical regression analyses fully supported the hypotheses of the present study. Future research should analyze possible coping mechanisms that may contribute to subjective well-being restoration as well as coping efficacy.

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NEW! The Relationship Between Stigma and Trauma in Adults Living with HIV

Melissa Zeligman, W. Bryce Hagedorn, and Sejal M. Barden

Stigma associated with HIV is considered a major stressor for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) that affects quality of life and may serve as a barrier to effective care and treatment. This manuscript explores the prevalence of stigma among PLWHA (N = 124), differentiates the ways that stigma manifests itself (i.e., personalized, disclosure concerns, negative self-image, public attitudes), and examines the predictive nature of stigma in how individuals experience an HIV diagnosis. Multiple regression analyses and canonical correlations indicate that stigma was found to be correlated with, and predictive of, experiencing an HIV diagnosis in a consequential and potentially traumatic way. Lastly, implications for mental health counselors are presented.

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New! Counselors' Attributions of Blame Toward Female Survivors of Battering

Lori E. Notestine, Christine E. Murray, L. DiAnne Borders, and Terry A. Ackerman

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a social problem that affects roughly 5.3 million women in the U.S. each year, accounts for 1,300 deaths, and often results in a number of physical and mental health consequences. Many women seek counseling as a way to find relief from the symptoms of the abuse they have endured. Previous research indicates that women seeking counseling after facing intimate partner violence victimization have reported experiencing counseling resources as inadequate or blaming. In the current study, counselors (N = 122) were surveyed regarding their gender role attitudes, ambivalent sexism, training in family violence, and attributions of blame toward women who have been battered. The regression analysis suggested that 16% of the variance in blame attributions was accounted for by gender role attitudes and ambivalent sexism. Study findings provide directions for future research and implications for practicing counselors.

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Validation of the SIMPLE STEPS Model of Suicide Assessment

Jason McGlothlin, Betsy Page and Kelsey Jager

The SIMPLE STEPS (McGlothlin, 2008) model of suicide assessment provides clinicians with a comprehensive mnemonic framework for assessing suicide lethality. It provides a broader context to assess suicide compared to other mnemonic devices with similar intent (i.e., PLAID, PIMP, IS PATH WARM, etc.) In this article, six years of data (N = 13,423 records of individual callers to a suicide prevention hotline) were analyzed. Via regression analysis, the researchers examined the relationship of the SIMPLE STEPS variables to caller's suicide lethality. It was found that all variables of the SIMPLE STEPS model predicted suicide lethality. Furthermore, this article depicts one of the few evidence-based studies for using a mnemonic device in practice. The results of this study have implications for the general practice of assessing suicidal clients with mnemonic devices and the general treatment of suicidal clients.

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Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Counselor Characteristics and Session Variables

Cheryl L. Fulton

Mindfulness has garnered interest as a counselor development tool for enhancing the therapeutic relationship and increasing counselor trainee effectiveness, yet empirical study of counselor mindfulness is limited. A study of the relationship between mindfulness and client perceived empathy among 55 client-counselor trainee dyads is reported. The relationships between counselor trainee mindfulness, self-compassion and ambiguity tolerance, experiential avoidance, and session depth were also examined in this exploratory study. Counselor trainee mindfulness was associated with client perceived empathy and both mindfulness and self-compassion were associated with lower experiential avoidance and greater session depth as rated by the counselor trainee. Self compassion was positively related to tolerance for ambiguity. Implications for counselors, educators, and supervisors and suggestions for practical application of mindfulness for counselor development are discussed.

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Counselors' Comfort with Sexuality, Attitudes towards Pornography, and Propensity to Assess and Treat Client Issues Related to Pornography Use

Zachary D. Bloom, Daniel Gutierrez, Glenn W. Lambie, and Shainna Ali

Clients present to counseling with clinical issues related to their pornography use. However, counselors report being undertrained and unprepared to work with clients regarding issues relating to pornography. Some researchers believe counselors' personal beliefs and attitudes about sex inhibit their ability to work with clients with issues related to sexuality. Therefore, we investigated counselors' comfort with discussing issues of sexuality, counselors' attitudes towards pornography, and their propensity to assess and treat client issues related to pornography use. We identified counselors' comfort with sexuality and attitudes towards pornography as mitigating factors in the assessment and treatment of client issues related to pornography use with a sample of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists. We offer recommendations for counselors, counselor educators, and future research.

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Eight Domains of Pet-Owner Wellness: Valuing the Owner-Pet Relationship in the Counseling Process (268-282)

Cynthia K. Chandler, Delini M. Fernando, Casey A. Barrio Minton and Torey L. Portrie-Bethke

The purpose of the study was to explore the impact of pet ownership in order to identify domains of pet-owner wellness and to inform counselors of the value of exploring the owner-pet relationship with clients. A qualitative study was conducted using open-ended, semi-structured interviews. A consensual qualitative research approach was taken to analyze the data. Findings were organized into eight domains of pet-owner wellness impact: emotional and physical nurturance, sense of family, sense of responsibility and purpose, friendship or companionship, social interaction and connections, personal values and spiritual meaning, fun and play, and physical health. Although participants tended to discuss most pet-ownership impacts positively, some also cited negative impacts. Given the number of wellness areas that pet ownership can impact, counselors are encouraged to explore owner-pet relationships in the counseling process.

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Comparison of Coping, Stress, and Life Satisfaction Between Taiwanese and U.S. College Students (Pages 234-249)

Philip B. Gnilka, Jeffrey S. Ashby, Kenneth B. Matheny, Y. Barry Chung and Yuhsuan Chang

Measures of coping resources, perceived stress, and life satisfaction were used to compare 120 Taiwanese men, 387 Taiwanese women, 114 U.S. women, and 264 U.S. men currently in college. While no differences were found in overall coping resources and perceived stress, U.S. students reported greater life satisfaction than Taiwanese students. Models for predicting life satisfaction from perceived stress and coping resources were significant for both genders within each country. Implications for counselors are discussed. 

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The New ABCs: A Practitioner's Guide to Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (Pages 206-220)

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

Cognitive-behavioral therapy models are evolving to take into account the impact of physiological responses on client distress and the secondary role of conscious cognitions and beliefs in perpetuating distress and dysfunction. This article presents an accessible and practical description of a neuroscience-informed cognitive-behavior therapy model, in the hope that readers will learn how to apply this model in practice. 

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The Voice of William Glasser: Accessing the Continuing Evolution of Reality Therapy (Pages 189-205)

Robert E. Wubbolding

On August 23, 2013, the voice of William Glasser, MD, became silent. His life was characterized by his mission of teaching the ever-evolving ideas originating in his work in corrections and mental health. He taught what he called “internal controls”: Although human beings are influenced by their environment and their previous relationships, they need not remain powerless and victimized by forces beyond their control or by their past history. Rather, they choose most of their current behaviors, especially their actions. Reality therapy is a system that counselors use to liberate clients and help them make realistic choices to more effectively satisfy their needs within their limitations. The evolution of reality therapy has covered not only its theoretical basis, choice theory, but more recently its links with mindfulness, neuroscience, and especially its formulation as the WDEP (Wants, Doing, Evaluation, Planning) system. A growing body of evidence illustrates the widespread use and multicultural effectiveness of Dr. Glasser’s legacy—reality therapy.

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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.
Full Article
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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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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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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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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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