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 Degree Discipline: Counseling
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Child Centered Play Therapy with Children Exhibiting Aggressive Behaviors

Child Centered Play Therapy with Children Exhibiting Aggressive Behaviors

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Wilson, Brittany Jean
Description: Aggressive behaviors in childhood currently serve as the leading cause of counselor referrals within the United States. Children exhibiting maladaptive aggressive symptomology are at an increased risk for highly externalized and problematic behaviors across the lifespan. Emotional self-regulation and empathy are two constructs currently believed to be closely related to aggression, but a lack of research exploring these variables currently exists in the counseling literature. In this study I examined the effect of child-centered play therapy (CCPT), is a manualized, developmentally responsive, and nondirective intervention, on these variables. Participants were 71 students from four Title 1 elementary schools in the southwest U.S. referred by teachers for aggressive behavior (12 females, 59 males; age range 5-10 years with mean age 6.28. The sample consisted of 52.1% (n = 37) children identified as African American, 21.1% (n = 15) as Latina/Latino, 19.7% (n = 14) as Caucasian, and 7% as multiracial (n = 5). Participants were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of a twice-weekly CCPT experimental group (n = 36) or a waitlist control group (n = 35). Results of descriptive discriminant analyses (DDA) of the Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale and the Children’s Aggression Scale scores revealed that parents perceived ...
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Individual and Group Child-Centered Play Therapy:  Impact on Social-Emotional Competencies

Individual and Group Child-Centered Play Therapy: Impact on Social-Emotional Competencies

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Blalock, Sarah M.
Description: A randomized controlled trial study was conducted to test the effectiveness of 16 sessions of the modalities of individual and group child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on improving social-emotional assets, including self-regulation/responsibility, social competence, and empathy. Participants were 56 students in four urban elementary schools in north central Texas, referred by teachers for disruptive or problematic behavior: 10 female and 46 male; ages 5 to 10 years with mean age 7.12; and 21 identifying as Hispanic, 17 as White, 8 as Multiracial, 1 as Asian, and 9 unspecified. Teachers and parents completed the Social and Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale (SEARS; Merrill, 2011) at pre- and post-treatment. With a significance criterion of p< .05, teacher reports provided no statistically significant results. However, parent reports indicated a statistically and practically significant interaction effect with a medium to large effect size, indicating a substantial improvement in children's scores from pre- to post-test attributed to group assignment. Mean differences indicated substantial gains in overall social-emotional assets, according to Total scores, in both individual and group treatment conditions as compared to the waitlist control group. Additionally, both individual and group play therapy was correlated with significant improvement with a large effect for the constructs of ...
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Master Therapists' Decision Making Process Concerning Adolescent Confidentiality: A Grounded Theory Approach

Master Therapists' Decision Making Process Concerning Adolescent Confidentiality: A Grounded Theory Approach

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Michero, Emily
Description: Ethical codes and laws provide counselors with guidance for how to approach confidentiality, but there is a gap in the literature surrounding counselors' process of decision-making when managing confidentiality with a adolescent clients. This study explored the decision-making process of master therapists concerning adolescent clients. I conducted semi-structured interviews with peer identified master therapist (N=10), all of whom were licensed professional counselors with 15 or more years of counseling experience and whose case load contained 25% or more adolescent clients. Participants included seven females and three males; nine participants identified as Caucasian, and one participant identified as Hispanic. Participants ages ranged from 39-61. I analyzed the data, along with two research partner, according to Grounded Theory (GT) methodology. Through constant comparative analysis, a grounded theory emerged from the data in which participants converged understanding of client safety, relationships, clinical intuition in a process of integrated experience and consultation. With the exception of mandated reported and mortal danger, ethical guidelines and laws did not seem to factor into participants' decision making. Implications for counseling practice, preparation, and research are provided.
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Social-Emotional Competencies of African American Children: Impact of Child-Centered Play Therapy

Social-Emotional Competencies of African American Children: Impact of Child-Centered Play Therapy

Date: 2016-5
Creator: Taylor, LaKaavia
Description: African American children experience risks due to heightened socio-environmental problems and responding to negative racial messages in their environments. Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) is one viable intervention for the development of social emotional competence among African American children to help mediate adverse conditions. I sought to explore the effects of CCPT on the social emotional competencies of African American children utilizing Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale-Parent & Teacher (SEARS-P; SEARS-T) reports. Thirty-seven African American participants with a mean age of 6.68 years were recruited from four suburban elementary schools in the southwest U.S. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group receiving a mean of 13.3 CCPT sessions over 8 weeks, and 17 participants were assigned to the waitlist control group. Factorial ANOVA results indicated that parents reported statistically and practically significant improvement for children who participated in CCPT in overall social-emotional competencies. Follow-up analysis revealed statistical and practical improvement in children’s empathy, as well as practical improvement in self-regulation/responsibility and social competence. Teacher-reported results indicated practical but non-statistically significant improvement in overall social-emotional competencies for children who participated in CCPT, including statistical and practical improvement in children’s responsibility, as well as practical improvement in self-regulation, social ...
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Addressing Multicultural Issues in the Counselor Education Classroom: a Phenomenological Analysis

Addressing Multicultural Issues in the Counselor Education Classroom: a Phenomenological Analysis

Date: December 2015
Creator: Wagner, Terra M.
Description: Multicultural education in counselor education is a popular topic among counselor educators and scholars. To date, scholars have focused on understanding the experiences of counselor educators who teach dedicated multicultural courses. However, less attention has been given to other counselor educators who are required by ethical and training standards to address multicultural issues across the curriculum. The purpose of this study was to understand counselor educators’ experiences addressing multicultural issues in courses that do not have a specific multicultural or diversity focus. I used phenomenological methodology to explore the experiences of counselor educators who hold doctoral degrees in counseling or a related field, have taken a multicultural/diversity course in their graduate training, are full-time clinical or tenure-line faculty members in CACREP-accredited programs, and have never taught courses dedicated to multicultural or diversity issues. Twelve participants (six men and six women), ranging in age ranged from 31 to 65, participated in the study. Ten participants identified as White, one African-American, and one Hispanic. The research team identified eight themes: (1) reasons for avoidance, (2) constraints, (3) qualities and practices, (4) educator as a factor in student development, (5) infusion, (6) personal background, (7) awareness of biases and assumptions, and (8) counselor ...
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A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss

A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss

Date: August 2015
Creator: Ener, Liz D.
Description: To date, researchers who have explored the complexity of childhood bereavement have utilized unstandardized assessment instruments and/or have independently evaluated specific constructs rather than factoring in the dimensionality of loss. The purpose of this study was to use parents' completion of established instruments--the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index--to examine the multivariate shared relationship between characteristics of bereaved children referred for counseling--their ages, genders, ethnicities, types of loss, and life stressors--and their behavioral manifestations as well as the relationship between these characteristics and levels of parent-child relational stress. Utilizing archival clinical files, I examined these characteristics from bereaved children (N = 98) whose parents sought counseling services from two university-based counseling clinics. The sample consisted of 67 boys and 31 girls between the ages 3 and 11 years old (M = 6.28). The majority of participants (67%, n = 66) identified as Caucasian, 10% (n = 10) as African American, 10% (n = 10) as Hispanic/Latino, 6% as Bi-racial (n = 6), 4% as Native American (n = 4), and 2% as Asian (n = 2). A canonical correlational analyses (CCA) was conducted to examine relationship between characteristics of children and their subsequent behavioral manifestations. The full model ...
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Effectiveness of Relational Equine-partnered Counseling (Repc) on Reduction of Symptoms of Ptsd in Military Veterans: a Single Case Design

Effectiveness of Relational Equine-partnered Counseling (Repc) on Reduction of Symptoms of Ptsd in Military Veterans: a Single Case Design

Date: August 2015
Creator: Sheade, Hallie E.
Description: There is currently a crisis in military veteran mental health care. At 5-30% of veterans receive a PTSD diagnosis. Veterans face a large gap that exists in accessing and receiving high quality care. One intervention that is becoming more popular is equine assisted counseling (EAC). The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC) in reducing symptoms of PTSD in military veterans. I also examined specific PTSD symptom clusters including intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The present study utilized a single-case design consisting of a baseline phase, intervention phase, and post-intervention phase. Participants included four military veterans presenting for war zone-related PTSD: four males and one female, aged 32-67 years, two White/European non-Hispanic, one African American non-Hispanic, and one mixed ethnicity. Symptoms were assessed weekly using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale and the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5). The data were analyzed by visual analysis and statistical effect size. The results were mixed across the participants. All participants experienced decreased means between the baseline and intervention phases. However, interpretation of the results indicated that the intervention was effective in some areas for some of the participants. All ...
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The Essence of African Americans’ Decisions to Seek Professional Counseling Services: a Phenomenological Study

The Essence of African Americans’ Decisions to Seek Professional Counseling Services: a Phenomenological Study

Date: August 2015
Creator: Yaites, LaToya D.
Description: Mental health disparity is an emerging national concern with evidence suggesting individuals from non-dominant populations are less likely to seek and persist in mental health services compared to their dominant culture peers. In particular, African Americans may underutilize professional counseling services due to factors such as stigma, healthy cultural mistrust, and cultural values. To date, researchers have paid limited attention to ways to break through barriers to mental health equity. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore African Americans’ experiences and decision-making seeking professional counseling services. I addressed the following questions: How do African Americans make meaning of their decision to seek counselor services? What considerations are involved in decision- making with African Americans who decide to seek professional counseling services? Participants included 10 African American women who had attended counseling with a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or LPC Intern in the past three years. I identified six emergent themes through adapted classic phenomenological analysis: feelings prior to attending counseling, coping mechanisms utilized prior to counseling, barriers to treatment, motivation to attend counseling, characteristics of counselor, and post counseling experiences. Participants reported increased personal growth, insight, and desire to recommend counseling to others. Findings inform communities about what ...
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Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry

Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry

Date: August 2015
Creator: Hurt, Kara Marie
Description: Teaching is a central role of counselor educators. However, teaching in counselor education lacks guiding standards or best practice recommendations. Existing scholarly dialogue predominantly features the perspectives of educators and addresses content knowledge, techniques, activities, and assignments for courses across the curriculum with relatively less emphasis on foundations of teaching. The purpose of this study was to develop greater understanding of counselor educator dispositions, orientations, and behaviors that students perceive as important to their learning. Q methodology was utilized to gather and distill counselor education students’ (N = 48) preferences for characteristics identified via focus groups and a comprehensive literature review. Factor analysis revealed four distinct factors, upon which 45 participants’ sorts loaded and which accounted for 41% of total variance. The findings of this study support the importance of the person of the counselor educator in the teaching and learning process in addition to behavioral characteristics. Moreover, these findings support the use of student learning style assessments and customization of course facilitation to fit students’ unique preferences and values.
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Impact of Child-centered Group Play Therapy on Social-emotional Assets of Kindergarten Children

Impact of Child-centered Group Play Therapy on Social-emotional Assets of Kindergarten Children

Date: August 2015
Creator: Cheng, Yi-Ju
Description: Early childhood is a critical period during which children develop social-emotional competence that will affect future success. Developing social-emotional assets is of importance for kindergarten children because of their concurrent cognitive and social changes as well as the experience of transitioning from home to school environment. A growing number of schools have adopted social-emotional learning (SEL) programming to focus on fostering children’s prosocial behaviors through direct instruction and engaging activities in classroom settings. However, some researchers have proposed that learning should capitalize on children’s natural interests rather than adult-determined agendas. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding potential effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy (CCGPT) as a treatment modality, I sought to explore the effects of CCGPT on social-emotional assets of kindergarten children utilizing parent and teacher reports across pretest, posttest, and one-month follow-up. Additionally, given that group sizes have been inconsistent and rarely explored across previous studies, I investigated the therapeutic aspect of group sizes in CCGPT outcome by comparing 2-member and 3-member CCGPT groups. Forty-three participants with mean age of 5.14 were recruited from three elementary schools, including 19 Hispanic, 14 Caucasian, and 10 African American. Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group receiving a mean of 15.32 ...
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