UNT Theses and Dissertations - 144 Matching Results

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Experiences Learning Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Neuroscience is increasingly part of the national dialogue regarding mental health. The field of interpersonal neurobiology may offer a framework for helping mental health professionals identify and apply the most relevant neuroscience principles to counseling. This study explored mental health professionals’ experiences learning IPNB. I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants (n = 6), all of whom were licensed mental health professionals and had completed a year-long study in the application of IPNB through Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind. I analyzed the data, along with a research partner, according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) protocol. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) learning process as dynamic and engaging, (2) deepening knowledge and understanding of self and others, (3) personal and professional growth, and (4) impact on therapeutic practice. A number of sub-ordinate themes also emerged through the analysis , including experiential learning; learning through group process; influence of the past on the present; increased understanding of the change process; increased compassion, empathy, and acceptance for self and for others; increased confidence; using IPNB to educate clients; using IPNB to conceptualize clients; and using IPNB to select interventions. Finally, I identified three higher-order constructs that appeared embedded within and across themes: learning as ongoing, person of the participant, and person of the instructor. The findings in this study suggest that participants’ learning of IPNB had a significant impact on their personal and professional development, specifically in areas related to characteristics of effective counselors. The findings also suggest that these meaningful changes occurred in a learning environment characterized by emotional engagement, experiential activities, and group process. Limitations to this research, as well as further discussion of the results are included. Implications for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education are also offered.
An exploration study of the relationship between effectiveness of filial therapy training groups and group cohesion.
This study examined the relationship of group cohesion among heterogeneous and homogeneous groups on individual treatment outcome of child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). CPRT is a filial therapy model that targets the parent-child relationship as a means for preventing or improving child and/or family problems. This study included 30 parents or caregivers from 9 groups which met for 10 sessions. Participants qualified for this study if their groups ended with at least 3 group members and 2 leaders, all pretest and posttest data on their child between the ages of 2-11 was completed, and if they attended at least 6 of the 10 sessions. Correlation coefficients, t-tests, and effect sizes were calculated. Results demonstrated no statistically significant differences between pretests and posttests on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for all 30 participants; however, differences in measured effect (η2) between children identified with borderline and clinical behavior problems and children with normal behavior problems suggest that CPRT is more effective among children who demonstrate significant behavior problems. Perceived and observed group cohesion measurements demonstrated no significant difference at the individual outcome level. This finding suggests that group cohesion may not be related to individual outcome. Although there was no significant relationship between group cohesion and individual outcome for this study, results of the group measurements regarding engagement and group cohesiveness, coupled with previous studies on CPRT effectiveness, suggest that CPRT should be utilized in homogeneous groups.
Exploratory Study of Animal Assisted Therapy Interventions Used by Mental Health Professionals
The purpose of this study was to explore the various animal assisted interventions mental health professionals incorporate in the therapeutic treatment process, as well as the various therapeutic purposes intended with each technique. Participants were recruited from animal assisted therapy related databases. Participants included professionals who practiced in the mental health field. Thirty one participants qualified for the study. A survey was developed based on information found reviewing literature related to animal assisted therapy. Nineteen animal assisted therapy techniques and ten therapeutic intentions were identified from a review of the literature. Participants were asked to rate on a Likert scale how often they incorporated each technique in their treatment process. Additionally, participants were asked to identify which therapeutic purposes they intended with each technique. Results indicated participants incorporated a variety of animal assisted techniques for various therapeutic intentions. Results indicated seven animal assisted techniques were incorporated by more than 50% of the participants. Building rapport in the therapeutic relationship was the most common therapeutic intention reported with a variety of animal assisted techniques.
Expressive Arts Therapy with Bereaved Families
Most current grief programs support the children and/or parents of bereaved families rather than the family as a whole. This exploratory study was a quantitative and qualitative investigation of the use of expressive arts therapy with bereaved families during a weekend camp experience and a series of followup sessions. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of using expressive arts activities in improving the functioning of the bereaved family as a whole as well as individual family members. Participants included eight families who lost a child to a chronic illness between 2 to 36 months months prior to the onset of the study. Children ranged in age from 3 to15, and parents ranged in age from 26 to 66, for a total of 27 participants. The Child Life Department at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, a division of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas recruited the families. Participants received flyers and invitational letters and registered through the mail. Families attended a weekend camp where they experienced a wide variety of expressive arts activities in a combination of group formats: multi-family groups, parents' group, developmental age groups for children, total childrens' group, individual family group, mothers' group, and fathers' group. The research design was a pretest/posttest quasi-experimental control group design, but a control group could not be established. Therefore, one-tailed t-tests were used to compare participant functioning between the beginning and end of the study. Instruments used in this study included the Family Environment Scale, the Behavior Assessment System for Children the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory. In addition, the researcher used qualitative analysis to assess contents of family members' and counseling staff's journals, expressive arts products, and family members' evaluations. Results of this exploratory study indicated some improvements in children's, ...
Factors Affecting Academic Interest and Self Perception of Adolescent Hispanic Females
This investigation identifies deterrents to the educational, social, and cultural success of Latina adolescent females. Across the nation, and especially in states such as Texas and California, the Hispanic population is fast becoming the largest minority in society. Because the adolescent Hispanic population within the United States today will comprise much of America's future economic and social base, identifying and addressing educational, cultural, and social deterrents to their success becomes important not only for personal well-being, but for the well-being of future society as a whole. A second purpose was that of determining the efficacy of group-centered psychoeducational therapy in improving self-esteem and decreasing anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescent female Hispanic high school students. The experimental groups consisted of one group of seven female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. and a second group of five female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. The control group consisted of fourteen female Hispanic students who received no treatments. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of depression, the Beck Anxiety Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of anxiety, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem questionnaire and the Index of Self-Esteem were used to measure pre and post levels of self-esteem.
Filial Therapy and the Family: Examining the Impact of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt) on Family Functioning
Research has indicated that filial therapy, an approach in which parents conduct play sessions with their young children, has strong effects on the participating parents and children. As a result, some have speculated that filial therapy improves the family system; however, minimal research exists to support this claim. Using a single-case, time-series design, I examined the impact of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy approach, on the functioning of 8 diverse families (two-parent, biological children = 4; two-parent, adopted children = 3; single-parent, biological children = 1). 15 parents and 17 children (male = 15, female = 17) participated in the study. All but 1 parent was Caucasian. The children were more ethnically diverse (Caucasian = 5, Hispanic/Caucasian = 5, Hispanic = 3, Asian = 2). Parents’ ages ranged from 29 to 49 and children’s from 2 to 13. Results from simulation modeling analyses (SMA) indicated that 6 of 7 families experienced a statistically significant improvement in their targeted areas of family functioning, and the average effect size was moderate. Results from self-reported measures indicated that 7 families experienced notable improvements in family satisfaction, 4 in cohesion, 3 in communication, and 1 in flexibility. Data from an observational measure rated by independent assessors also indicated improvements pre- to post-intervention: 5 families in flexibility, 4 families in cohesion, and 4 families in communication. All families reported improved functioning in post-intervention interviews. The results support that the benefits of filial therapy may indeed extend to the family system.
Filial Therapy with Immigrant Korean Parents in the United States
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of filial therapy training in: (a) increasing immigrant Korean parents' empathic behavior with their children; (b) increasing immigrant Korean parents' acceptance level toward their children; and (c) reducing immigrant Korean parents' stress related to parenting.The experimental group, consisting of 17 immigrant Korean parents in the United States, received 10 weekly 2-hour filial therapy training sessions and participated in weekly 30-minute play sessions with one of their children. The control group, consisting of 15 immigrant Korean parents in the United States, received no treatment during the ten weeks. All the parents were videotaped playing with their child before and after the training as a means of measuring change in empathic behavior. The two written self-report instruments completed for pretesting and posttesting purposes were the Porter Parental Acceptance Scale and the Parenting Stress Index. Analyses of covariance revealed that the immigrant Korean parents in the experimental group had significant changes in 10 of 12 hypotheses, including (a) a significant increase in their level of empathic interactions with their children; (b) a significant increase in their attitude of acceptance toward their children; and (c) a significant reduction in their level of stress related to parenting. This study supports the use of filial therapy for promoting the parent-child relationship in immigrant Korean families in the United States. Filial therapy helps immigrant Korean parents to be therapeutic agents for their children. It helps them regain their own power as parents and restore positive relationships with their children.
Filial Therapy with Israeli Parents
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an intensive version of the Landreth (2002) 10-week filial therapy model as a method of intervention for children of Israeli parents living in Israel. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of intensive filial therapy training in (a) reducing internalizing behavior problems of Israeli children; (b) reducing externalizing behavior problems of Israeli children; and (c) reducing overall behavior problems of Israeli children. A second purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of intensive filial therapy training with Israeli parents in increasing the parents' (a) empathic responsiveness with their children; (b) communication of acceptance to their children; (c) allowance of self-direction by their children; (d) involvement in their children's play activities; (e) feelings of efficacy as parents; and (f) reduction of parental stress. The experimental group consisted of fourteen Israeli children who their parents received nine intensive Filial Therapy training sessions within a five week period and had seven parent-child play sessions. The non-treatment comparison group consisted of thirteen Israeli children whose parents received no treatment. Parents in the study completed the Hebrew version of the Child Behavior Checklist, the Parenting Stress Index, and conducted pre-test and post-test play sessions for the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Multivariate Analysis of Covariance revealed the children in the experimental group significantly reduced external behavior problems. The results also revealed the parents in the experimental group significantly reduced parental stress and significantly increased communication of empathy to their children.
Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry
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.
Group Activity Play Therapy for Preadolescents: Effects on Low Self-Esteem
Research shows that preadolescent females are more prone to negative self-perceptions than their male counterparts which places them at greater risk of developing mental health problems stemming from low self-image. The purpose of this randomized, controlled outcome study was to examine the effectiveness of group activity play therapy (GAPT) compared to an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group. Participants were 29 fourth and fifth grade girls in two Title I schools in the southwest U.S. referred by teachers and school counselors as presenting with low self-esteem. Participants identified as 45% Latina, 38% Caucasian, 14% African American, and 3% Asian. Children were randomly assigned to either 16 sessions of GAPT (experimental group; n = 15) or 13 sessions of an evidenced based social skills/self-esteem group intervention (control group; n = 14). Results from a 2 (Group) by 3 (Times) repeated measures ANOVA indicated that, compared to the control group over time, the GAPT group reported statistically significant improvement in self-esteem with a moderate to large treatment effect. Teachers did not report a statistically significant difference between the two groups over time. However, teachers reported noteworthy improvement for children in both treatment groups, with generally stronger improvement for the GAPT group. Overall, results indicate that GAPT may be a promising school-based intervention for preadolescent females suffering with low self-esteem.
Group sandtray therapy at school with preadolescents identified with behavioral difficulties.
Sandtray therapy, a modality of play therapy, has been used in a variety of ways as the treatment intervention with different theoretical approaches; however, there is a very limited amount of empirical research. The purpose of this research is to examine the effectiveness of group sandtray therapy at school with preadolescents identified with behavioral difficulties. This is a pretest-posttest control group design. Participants in the experimental group received sandtray therapy in group for ten weeks, and participants in the wait-list control group received no treatment intervention. The researcher compared two groups to examine the overall effectiveness of sandtray therapy as determined by the scores of the Child Behavior Checklist-Teacher Report Form (CBC-TRF), Parent Report Form (BASC-PRF), and Self Report of Personality (BASC-SRP). Based on teachers' reports, statistically significant difference existed between the two groups in terms of preadolescents' overall behaviors, externalizing behavior problems, and internalizing behavior problems after the ten week treatment intervention. The effect sizes were medium (d= .52-.59). According to parents' reports, a statistically significant difference was found regarding preadolescents' externalizing behavior problems, and the effect size was medium (d=.63). No statistically significant differences were found regarding preadolescents' total behaviors and internalizing behavior problems based on BASC-PRF. The effect sizes arranged from medium to small (d=.55 and .35, respectively). In terms of the total behavior on BASE-SRP, no statistical significant difference was found and the effect was small (d=.18). A case example was included to illustrate the process and effect of group sandtray therapy. Based on the results of this study, it is determined that group sandtray can be an effective treatment intervention for preadolescents identified with behavioral problems. The primary contribution of this study is to present empirical support for the effectiveness of using sandtray therapy.
How Parenting Stress and Discouragement Impact Functioning Within Stepfamilies
The study analyzed how parenting stress and discouragement affect stepfamily functioning. Whether the parent was a biological parent or stepparent, whether the stepparent was a stepmother or stepfather, or whether the marriage had been formed more or less than two years was also considered. One assumption made was that increased parenting stress and discouragement will lead to decreased family functioning. Other assumptions were that there will be more increased parenting stress and discouragement and decreased family functioning found in stepparents than biological parents, in stepmothers more than stepfathers, and in parents in families formed less than two years more than those in families formed more than two years. Complete data was collected from 30 subjects. Three instruments were used in the study. The Parenting Stress Index measures how much stress parents experience in areas relating to how they see their child and how they see themselves as parents. The Discouragement Scale for Adults was developed to measure the Adlerian concept of discouragement in an adult population. The Family Assessment Device measures how a family functions.
Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation
Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
The Impact of a Telephone Warm Line on Latchkey Children
A prevention-oriented telephone line intended as an intervention program for latchkey children was studied to determine its impact on the self-esteem, anxiety level, and in-school and at-home behavior of these children.
Impact of an Online Education Program on Counselors' Knowledge and Attitudes about Near-Death Experiences
An estimated 15 million people in the US have had a near‐death experience (NDE), an experience of usually lucid consciousness during a close brush with death. Following an NDE, experiencers (NDErs) sometimes feel challenged and seek counseling to integrate the experience into their subsequent lives. They have reported psychologically harmful experiences disclosing their NDEs to healthcare professionals, including counselors. Counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs appear to be critical variables in their ability to uphold the ethical imperative to do no harm to clients. The recent development of a psychometrically sound instrument to assess these variables, coupled with online availability of a three-part NDE educational program for health professionals, made possible for the first time a large‐scale pre‐post study of the effect of the program on counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs. Participants were 212 licensed professional counselors (LPCs) aged 23 to 71 years old (M = 44.93, SD = 12.69); sex self-identified as 12.3% male, 87.3% female, and .5% other; racially/ethnically self-identified as 84% White and 17% non-White and as 6.6% Latino-Hispanic and 92.5% non-Latino/Hispanic; and representing four regions of the US. Results revealed that, compared to control group, composed of LPCs who completed topically unrelated online programs (n = 112), those who completed the NDE program (n = 100) showed significantly more accurate knowledge and more positive attitude about NDEs. Participants also overwhelmingly expressed enjoyment of the programs. These results support the use of online training to increase counselors' knowledge and improve their attitude about NDEs so they can provide clinically and ethically sound treatment to NDErs. Limitations of the study and future research are addressed.
Impact of Child-centered Group Play Therapy on Social-emotional Assets of Kindergarten Children
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 CCGPT sessions over 8 weeks, and 22 participants were assigned to the waitlist control group. Six mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significance and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Total score, F (2, 72) = 4.533, p = .014, with medium effect size of η2 = .101. Post Hoc analyses indicated a non-statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Self-Regulation/Responsibility subscale with a small effect, F (1.868, 67.248) = 1.776, p = .179, η2 = .043; a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P ...
The impact of child teacher relationship training on teachers' and aides' use of relationship-building skills and the effect on student classroom behavior.
This study examined the impact of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers' and aides' use of relationship- building skills in the classroom and the correlation between teachers' and aides' demonstration of relationship- building skills and the effect on student behavior. CTRT was modeled after Landreth and Bratton's (2006) 10-session filial therapy model titled child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) which is based on the principles and procedures of child -centered play therapy. The CPRT manual was adapted slightly for use with teachers and aides for this project. In this quasi-experimental design, 12 teacher aide dyads (n = 24) were assigned to the experimental (n = 12) or active control groups (n = 12). Children who scored in the Borderline/Clinical range on at least one scale of the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) at pretest qualified for the study (N = 32). During the first phase of treatment, teachers and aides participated in the equivalent of 10 training/supervision sessions consistent with the principles and procedures of CPRT. During CTRT Phase II, teachers and aides participated in 10 weeks of coaching/modeling to facilitate the use of CTRT skills in the classroom environment and continued to participate in weekly 1-hour group training/supervision sessions. Eight hypotheses were analyzed. Different analyses were conducted based on the hypotheses. Analyses of covariance and repeated measures analysis of variance were conducted. Correlation coefficients were also calculated. Additionally, effect sizes were calculated to determine practical significance. Two hypotheses were retained at the .05 level of significance. Children in the experimental group (n = 19) demonstrated a significant decrease (p = .04) in Externalizing Problems between Measurements 1 and 3 when compared to the children in the active control group (n = 13). A statistically significant relationship was found between teachers' and aides' higher use of relationship-building skills and ...
The Impact of Family Resilience Factors and Parent Gender on Stress Among Parents of Children with Autism
Parents of children with autism experience high degrees of stress. Research pertaining to the reduction of parental stress in families with a child with autism is needed. In this study, the relationship between family resilience, parent gender, and parental stress was examined. Seventy-one parents of young children with autism were surveyed. Regression and correlational analyses were performed. Results indicated that the vast majority of respondents reported significantly high levels of stress. Lower degrees of parental stress were correlated with higher degrees of family resilience. Family resiliency factors were significant contributors to the shared variance in parental stress. Mothers of children demonstrated higher levels of stress than fathers. Suggested explanations of these findings are presented and clinical and research implications are provided. The findings of this study provide evidence for the importance of facilitating family resilience for parents of children with autism and affirm differing stress levels between mothers and fathers.
The Impact of Kinder Training on Early Elementary School Children’s On-task Behavior: a Single Case Design
Teachers appear to feel challenged by children’s off-task behavior in the classroom. Children’s off-task behavior can result in reduced academic engagement, increased teaching stress, and strained teacher-child relationships. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of kinder training on young children’s on-task behavior in the classroom. This study utilized an experimental single-case methodology and a multiple baseline across subjects design. Three elementary school teachers conducted weekly individual play sessions with students they identified as frequently exhibiting off-task behavior. The three children ranged in age from five to six years: two males and one female, two Caucasian non-Hispanic and one biracial. Two trained observers repeatedly assessed the child participants’ on-task behavior using the Direct Observation Form throughout the baseline and intervention phases. The findings provide support for kinder training as an effective play-based professional development-training model that can improve children’s on-task behavior. Results demonstrated that all child participants showed improvement in on-task classroom behavior. Visual analysis revealed that all child participants demonstrated a positive change in on-task behavior during the intervention phase. All teacher participants reported observing improvement in the child participants’ on-task behavior and teacher-child relationships. Teachers’ post-intervention reports supported the notion of reciprocal interactions among teacher-child relationships, understanding of children’s lifestyle and goals of misbehavior, and children’s on-task behavior.
The Impact of Psychotherapeutic Reiki on Anxiety and Mindfulness: A Single-Case Design
Reiki healing is one of several complementary and integrative therapies becoming increasingly prevalent in mental health counseling. It has been identified in the medical field for its usefulness in treating anxiety, depression, distress, and pain but has rarely been studied for its counseling impact on client wellness. I conducted single-case research to explore psychotherapeutic Reiki's (PR's) influence on adult clients' anxiety symptoms and perceived sense of mindfulness and provided analysis of data collected from two assessments administered weekly: the Adult Manifest Anxiety Scale-Adult and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Three of the four participants demonstrated significant improvement in both anxiety and mindfulness over the course of the PR intervention. The study revealed potential therapeutic benefits for integrating PR with conventional talk therapy. Included in discussion of study results are clinical implications and importance, suggestions for future research, and limitations.
The impact of rising women's salaries on marital and relationship satisfaction.
Using data from a national survey, this study examines income and other key variables (division of labor and work-family conflict) and their relationship to marital satisfaction. This study builds upon the body of research regarding working couples and women's increased participation in the paid labor force as well as evaluates the findings in the context of data gathered from the recent United States census. Results from this study also are compared to the findings of other key studies. Emergent data may be used to prepare counselors to work more effectively with couple clients and to assist employers in the development of work life policies for dual career and dual earner employees. Results from the multiple regression revealed no direct effects of income on marital satisfaction. For this sample, increases in work family conflict contributed to less marital satisfaction as did the presence of children. Increased participation in household chores by respondents' partners contributed to increased marital satisfaction. No differences were observed by gender. Limitations of the study, recommendations for further research, and implications for practitioners also are addressed.
The impact of school-based child centered play therapy on academic achievement, self-concept, and teacher-child relationship stress.
This study examined the effectiveness of child centered play therapy (CCPT) with academically at-risk 1st graders. In this quasi-experimental design, twenty-one 1st grade students were assigned to the experimental group and 20 students were assigned to the no treatment control group. The children in the experimental group received two 30 minute play therapy sessions per week for the duration of eight weeks. Three hypotheses were analyzed. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variances (SPANOVA) were performed on each dependent variable to determine if the experimental group performed differently from the control group across time according to the pretest and posttest results of the Young Child's Achievement Test (YCAT), the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSAYC), and the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS). Additionally, partial η2 was calculated to determine practical significance. One hypothesis was retained at the .05 level of significance. Findings indicated that academically at-risk 1st graders who participated in CCPT scored statistically significant higher on academic achievement. Specifically, children assigned to the experimental group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in Early Achievement Composite (p = .03) when compared to children assigned to the no treatment control group. No statistical significant results were found on Self-Concept and Student-Teacher Relationship Stress.
Impact of Texas Counselors' Network on students: A preliminary study.
This study assessed the impact of the Texas Counselors' Network (TCN) on students of counselors who attended TCN workshops. TCN is a professional organization created in 1996 for the professional development of counselors. TCN impacts primary and secondary school students by providing counselors with selected skills to assist them in helping students. In theory, TCN thus impacts these students by improving overall skills of participating counselors. This study assessed the progress of students before and after implementation of TCN. Students' progress was considered in four areas: Texas Accountability Assessment Scores (TAAS), attendance rates, dropout rates, and high school student enrollment in technical programs. The current study compared student performance in the above four areas during a two to three year period prior to the establishment of TCN, with the initial six years of TCN existence. This study examined data attained through the Texas Educational Agency (TEA) Website using their Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) for four regional TCN groups. The study used a paired t-test to compare the performance of students before versus after counselor participation in network workshops. The findings indicated that overall, counselor participation in TCN could have a significant effect on student performance. In fact, eight tests were run and all were found significant at the .05 alpha level.
The Impact of Unresolved Loss on Adolescent Anger and Defiant Behavior
This study examines the impact of issues of loss on adolescents. It was hypothesized that adolescents who experienced incidents of loss which were not adequately supported or processed to the point of resolution are much more likely to exhibit more angry and defiant behaviors than those who did not have such life experiences. Three instruments were used to identify loss and related impact. The first is the Interview Process, designed to identify issues of loss and screen for problematic behavior. This tool is used to qualify the participant for the study, and to designate which study group the participant will be assigned. The Family Constellation Exercise is an experiential assessment tool that exemplifies how emotionally close or distant the participant feels in relation to his or her nuclear family members. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Assessment - Adolescent version (MMPI-A) is used to identify behaviors and thought patterns associated with anger and defiance.The study was able to conclude that there is a strong potential for unresolved loss to negatively impact an adolescent. The study also discovered that many teenagers who do not exhibit angry or defiant behaviors have also experienced loss, yet do not act out anger. Suggestions are made as to why this is so, and implications for future research are made.
Individual and Group Child-Centered Play Therapy: Impact on Social-Emotional Competencies
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 self-regulation/responsibility and social competence, with the group condition having a larger effect than the individual condition. Regarding empathy, neither modality resulted in significant improvement, though individual CCPT resulted practically in a large effect. These results indicate CCPT may provide a developmentally appropriate treatment for clinicians working with children in schools and in the community to foster their social and emotional competencies.
Intensive Short-term Child Centered Play Therapy and Externalizing Behaviors in Children
Play therapists use children’s natural symbolic play as a method of mental health treatment (Landreth, 2012). Meta-analysis research has demonstrated the effectiveness of treating children with play therapy (Bratton, Ray, Rhine, & Jones, 2005), and child-centered play therapy (CCPT) has proven to be an effective treatment for children with externalizing behaviors such as aggression and other disruptive behavior (Bratton & Ray, 2000; Bratton et al., 2005). Some studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of brief and short-term CCPT, such as twice weekly within two to three months (Blanco & Ray, 2011; Shen, 2002) and when delivered in an intensive format, conducting 12 sessions within three weeks (Jones & Landreth, 2002). In this current study, I sought to determine the effectiveness of intensive CCPT with children identified as having externalizing problem behaviors. Participants were recruited from public schools in the urban area of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia area. A total of 24 participants completed the study: 18 boys and 6 girls aged 6 to 9 years old (M = 7); 17 Australian Caucasians, 1 English (UK) Caucasian, 1 Asian, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 2 Biracial. Participants were randomly assigned: 12 to the experimental group and 12 to the wait-list control group. Children in the experimental group received 20 intensive CCPT sessions: twice daily for 10 days. For each child participant, a parent completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a teacher completed the CBCL Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) three times: at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significant and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Follow-up results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on CBCL Externalizing score, F (2, 44) = 14.747, p < .001, with a large effect size of η2 = .277. Results also indicated a statistically significant ...
Interest Differentiation and Profile Elevation: Investigating Correlates of Depression, Confidence, and Vocational Identity
Using a correlational design, this study examined relationships among and between differentiation, profile elevation, gender and educational level (predictors) and depression, confidence, and vocational identity (criterion). Clients presenting for counseling services (n = 90) with a career concern at a large, metropolitan university were included in the study. Six assumptions were examined using three single hierarchical regression analyses to reveal relationships among and between variables. Two research assumptions were confirmed at the .05 level of significance. Bivariate correlations were computed to examine the structure coefficients. Beta weights and structure coefficients were examined to determine the relative contribution of the predictors in the regression model. Results indicated that differentiation, profile elevation, gender and educational level did not predict significant variance in depression and vocational identity. However, differentiation, profile elevation, and educational level did significantly predict confidence (p< .0001).
Intimate Relationships of Adult Children of Alcoholics
Difficulties developing and maintaining intimate relationships are often attributed to adult children of alcoholics (ACAs). However, the focus of the literature has been on those obtaining psychological treatment and has primarily involved clinical impressions. The purpose of this study was to examine intimacy in the close friendships and love relationships of ACAs. Autonomy and intimacy in respondents' families of origin were also analyzed. Comparisons were made between ACAs currently in (n = 59) and not in (n = 53) therapy, and comparisons who had (n = 48) and had not (n = 77) received therapy. Alcoholics were eliminated. It was hypothesized that ACAs would score significantly lower than comparisons on love and friendship intimacy and autonomy and intimacy in their families of origin. Among the ACAs, those in therapy would score lower than those not in therapy. Hypotheses were tested using MANOVAS. ANOVAs were administered where there were significant differences, and Newman-Keuls contrasts further delineated the divergence. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to obtain explanatory data. The two ACA groups seem to represent distinct populations with those not in therapy failing to report intimacy differences previously ascribed to them. While all of the groups were similar in friendship closeness, only the ACAs in therapy had significantly less intimacy in love relationships. Furthermore, clinical ACAs differed from the other groups by having less family of origin health, more physical and sexual abuse, more maternal drinking, more depression, and more suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Family of origin health predicted intimacy in a love relationship. Family characteristics encompassing honesty, empathy and respect, which may or may not involve alcoholism, seemed to create an atmosphere of faulty parenting in the ACA clinical group which may have subsequently affected the child's intimacy in a love relationship. Results of the study support a developmental model and ...
An Investigation of a Zen Meditation Procedure and Its Effect on Selected Personality and Psychotherapeutic Variables
The purpose of the investigation was to determine the effectiveness of Zen meditation practice in facilitating positive change on the personality variables time competence, inner direction, locus of control, and field independence, as well as to investigate the subjective experiences of novice meditators. Two population groups were included in the study: a student group and a clinical group. The student-population group consisted of forty-six undergraduate college students. The student subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: experimental group (Zen meditation group taught to focus attention on the breath, as well as a formal Zen posture), placebo group (formal Zen posture only), or control group (no treatment). The clinical-population group consisted of thirty-seven in-patient volunteers from the alcoholic-drug unit of a psychiatric state hospital. The clinical subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (Zen meditation group which practiced focused attention on the breath, as well as a formal Zen meditation posture) or a control group (no treatment).
An investigation of beliefs and practices of conservative Protestant parents and the cultural applicability of child parent relationship therapy.
The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey to identify the beliefs and practices of conservative Protestant parents, which assisted in clarifying the assertions in the current literature regarding conservative Protestant parenting. Additionally, this researcher sought to determine the applicability of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy model based upon the principles of child centered play therapy, for conservative Protestant parents by ascertaining the need for cultural modifications. Beliefs and practices of conservative Protestants were measured using the Protestant Parenting Inventory (PPI), an original instrument developed through a series of focus groups and pilot testings. The population comprised 148 mothers and fathers from 4 Southern Baptist churches in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to the data in order to increase internal consistency estimates and percent of explained variance. Criterion coding of demographic data allowed a multiple regression analysis to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of participant responses on the PPI. Descriptive statistics allowed the researcher to investigate the compatibility of conservative Protestants and CPRT. Results of this study both confirm and refute past findings regarding conservative Protestants. Results also revealed the need for some cultural modifications to CPRT in order to make it an acceptable parenting resource for conservative Protestant parents.
An Investigation of the Perceptions of Christian Seminary Counseling Students Regarding Play Therapy
The threefold purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which counseling seminary students' beliefs corresponded to the tenets of child-centered play therapy, the amount of training seminary counseling students received in the area of child counseling and play therapy, and the applicability of child-centered play therapy courses in seminary counselor education programs. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument she developed. The instrument consisted of 22 demographic items and 23 5-point Likert scale items based on the tenets of child-centered play therapy. The sample was comprised of 206 seminary counseling students from 12 Christian seminaries across the United States: 155 female and 51 male participants ranging in age from 21 to 60 years old and including 5.3% African American, 3.9% Asian, 1.5% Biracial/Multiracial, 3.4% Hispanic, 83% White (Non-Hispanic), 2.4% Other. Multiple regression analysis was utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents' beliefs regarding child-centered play therapy. Results indicated significance at p < .05 level. Specifically, respondents who reported feeling more prepared to counsel children reported beliefs more congruent with child-centered play therapy, and respondents from the Southwestern and Southeastern portions of the United States exhibited beliefs less congruent with child-centered play therapy. Respondents' reports of their gender, age, denominational grouping, counseling theory, previous training to work with children, parental status, and future plans to counsel children did not significantly predict beliefs corresponding to child-centered play therapy. Descriptive data revealed that 83.5% of respondents intended to counsel children after completing their graduate studies, yet only 20.4% of respondents reported having completed coursework in child counseling; thus, they appeared inadequately prepared to work with this specialized population. Implications for seminary counselor education programs are discussed.
Latino Students’ School Counseling Needs: an Exploratory Needs Assessment
The purpose of this study was to examine Latino/a student preferences for school counselor activities. The primary focus of research was to determine what school counseling activities Latino/a students perceived as important and which school counseling activities Latino/a high school students perceived as satisfying. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument developed by the researcher. The instrument consisted of 14 demographic items and 42 5-point Likert scale items based on the domains described in the ASCA’s national model and current literature on experiences of Latino/a adolescents. The sample was comprised of 210 Latino/a high school students from five high schools in three school districts in the suburbs of a large Southwestern U.S. metroplex. The study population consisted of 94 female and 115 male participants ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old with the median age of 17.54 years. Overall, students preferred school counseling activities focusing on college and career readiness. According to the results of this study, students indicated that although they believed college and career activities to be important, they were not satisfied with how their school counselors provided those activities. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents’ perceptions of importance. Results indicated student perceptions of importance did not vary across grades, economic levels, genders, or cultural differences. The results, limitations, and suggestions for school counseling programs were provided within the report.
Licensed Professional Counselors’ Attitudes Toward People with Schizophrenia: Predictors of Interest in Providing Interventions
For individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers, psychosocial interventions have been shown to significantly improve recovery and reduce relapse rates. Although this population is underserved and stigmatized, counselors have been excluded from most research into attitudes toward and interventions for these families. Using a stratified random sample survey design, researchers explored the relationships between participating U.S. Licensed Professional Counselors’ attitudes towards, recovery beliefs regarding, familiarity with, desire for social distance from, and interest in providing services to individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Most of the 111 participants (11.1% response rate) identified themselves as female (83.8%) and Caucasian (86.5%). A few participants described themselves as Hispanic (6.3%) or Black or African-American (5.4%). Respondents ranged in age in years from 20’s to 60’s with the largest group in their 40’s. Descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of LPC participants reported low to moderate stigmatizing attitudes, strong beliefs in recovery, and moderate to high interest in providing interventions for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Furthermore, almost half of participating LPCs reported already working with individuals with schizophrenia. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions indicated that high interest in providing interventions for this population was significantly correlated (p < .01) with high frequency of already working with the population (large effect), low desire for social distance (medium effect), high desire to help socially (medium effect), and strong beliefs in recovery (small effect). The results support including LPCs in all areas pertaining to interventions, research, and recovery for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers.
Marital Satisfaction and Stability Following a Near-Death Experience of One of the Marital Partners
The purpose of this quantitative and qualitative study was to determine retrospectively marital satisfaction and stability following the near-death experience (NDE) of one of the marital partners, focusing on the role of Gottman's Sound Marital House (1999) in the couple's relationship before and after the NDE. The researcher used the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (1959), the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory (1980), and a modification of Gottman's Shared Meanings Questionnaire (1999). The first group of participants included 26 NDErs. To create as comparable a group as possible, the researcher designed a life-changing event (LCE) group of 26 people who used as their referent the non-NDE-related experience they considered their most life-changing one during their marriage. Sixty-five percent of the marriages in which the NDErs were involved at the time of their NDEs ended in divorce. This number is in contrast to the 19 percent of LCE participants whose marriages ended in divorce. Marital adjustment, marital stability, and meanings in marriage between retrospectively based pre-event and post-event composite scores were statistically significantly different between the NDErs and LCErs. Low effect sizes were identified for each of the instruments except the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory, which had a moderate effect size. Strong correlations among the scores were identified. Further analysis of the results indicated strongly that the NDErs were less satisfied in their marriages, their marriages were less stable, and they did not have a strong level of shared meaning in the marriage after the NDE occurred as compared to the LCE participants. This study has serious implications for counselors who may work with NDErs. Findings from this study show that NDErs who were married at the time of their experiences have a strong possibility of experiencing marital problems. Encouraging these couples to seek professional help as soon as possible can provide a ...
Master Therapists' Decision Making Process Concerning Adolescent Confidentiality: A Grounded Theory Approach
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.
A Mixed-Methods Approach to the Experiences of Non-Offending Parents of Children who have Experienced Sexual Abuse Participating in Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
When a child has been sexually abused, the non-offending parent and child may benefit from an intervention aimed at enhancing the parent child relationship. This mixed-methods study examined the process of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) with non-offending parents of children who had been sexually abused. One purpose of the present study was to examine change in parent-child relationship, child behavior, and parent empathy of non-offending parents whose children have been sexually abused after participation in CPRT. A secondary purpose of this study was to explore subjective experiences of non-offending parents who participate in CPRT. Participants (N = 8) completed 11 weeks of CPRT in either Spanish speaking (n = 4) or English speaking (n = 4) groups. All participants completed pretest and posttest instruments including Child Behavior Checklist, Parenting Stress Index, and Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Pretest and posttest means were reported but because of small sample size, only descriptive statistics are reported. Possible trends in pretest/posttest mean scores of the quantitative instruments are discussed. All participants also completed a post semi-structured interview to account for the experience of participants qualitatively. Analysis of the qualitative data revealed enhanced parent-child relationships, improved communication, greater acceptance, positive parental internal changes, positive behavioral changes in child, and positive changes in discipline.
Parents Of Children With High-functioning Autism: Experiences In Child-parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt)
This qualitative study attempted to capture the experiences of parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders participating in child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). Parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders (HFASD) are prone to experiencing stress in the parent-child relationship due to difficulty in social understanding and rigid behavioral patterns often found among children with HFASD. Moreover, parents of children with HFASD may feel challenged to find suitable interventions that are time-limited, affordable, and appropriate for parents and children with HFASD. Because no research currently investigates the perceived acceptability of CPRT for parents of children with HFASD, it was decided that a qualitative study would best capture the experiences of parents of children with HFASD participating in CPRT to understand more fully whether CPRT is an appropriate intervention for these parents. Four parents and one grandparent were interviewed prior to and following their participation in 10 sessions of CPRT. Thematic analysis of the pre- and post-intervention interviews as well as the 10 CPRT sessions revealed eight themes related to the parents overall experience of CPRT and change in the parent, child, and parent-child relationship: understanding of CPRT concepts, reactions to CPRT, group dynamic, child characteristics, parent characteristics, knowledge and experiences with HFASD, family context, and parent-child relationship. The emerging themes indicated that the five participants found CPRT to be a useful intervention for developing skills to deal with child-behavior concerns related to HFASD. The participants also reported developing a better understanding of their children with HFASD and four parents reported increased closeness in the parent-child relationship. The implications for this research are that CPRT may offer parents of children with HFASD a time-limited intervention that meets their needs as parents, as well as possibly helping parents and children with HFASD develop increased closeness in the parent-child relationship.
A Phenomenological Exploration of Counselors' Experiences in Personal Therapy
Professional counselors may choose to increase self-awareness and/or engage in self-care through the use of personal therapy. In particular, counselors may feel reluctant to pursue personal therapy due to stigma related to their professional identity. To date, researchers have paid limited attention to the unique concerns of counselors in personal therapy. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore counselors' experiences and decision-making in seeking personal therapy. I addressed the following questions: What contributes to counselors' decision to seek personal therapy? How do counselors make meaning of their experiences in utilizing personal therapy? Participants included 13 licensed professional counselors who had attended personal therapy with a licensed mental health professional in the past three years. I identified six emergent themes through adapted classic phenomenological analysis: presenting concerns, therapist attributes, intrapersonal growth, interpersonal growth, therapeutic factors, and challenges. Participants reported positive changes in personality and relationships, as well as several barriers specifically related to their counselor identity. Findings inform mental health professionals and the field of counselor education and supervision about the personal and professional needs of counselors. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
Pilot of a Learning Management System to Enhance Counselors' Relational Qualities Through Mindfulness-based Practices
Mindfulness-based practices are associated with increased attentional qualities, improved self-focus styles, enhanced empathic understanding, and strengthened self-compassion, making these practices a viable addition to counselor training programs. However, current mindfulness training models are primarily designed for relief of psychological distress, stress reduction, and increased well-being rather than focused on enhancing therapeutic skills and require intensive time commitments that may present logistical difficulties for overburdened curricula and graduate students. This study piloted an on-line, eight-week mindfulness-based practices learning management system for counselors (MBLMS-C) with a specific focus on the cultivation of qualities associated with successful therapeutic relationships. Ten of forty-six recruited counseling master's students enrolled in their first basic skills course at a sample of accredited universities across the United States completed the exit survey. Data were analyzed using multivariate repeated measures analyses comparing pre- post- counselor relational qualities of mindfulness traits, empathy, self-focus style, and self-compassion. Results indicated no statistically significant difference with a partial ?2 = .73. What-if analyses (N = 30) indicated statistical significance may have been obtained given a larger sample. Variance was explained by increased self-compassion (partial ?2 = .34) and mindfulness traits (partial ?2 = .31) and decreased self-focus style rumination (partial ?2 = .23) and empathic personal distress (partial ?2 = .12). Changes were observed in the desired direction for self-focus style reflection and empathic perspective taking/empathic concern. Discussion includes a review of the findings including examination of participant feedback regarding training experience. Study limitations and implications for counselor education, professional enhancement, and suggestions for future research are also offered.
Play Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Single-case Design
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on the social competence, empathy, and self-regulation of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The constructs of social competence, empathy, and self-regulation were measured using the Social-Emotional Assets Rating Scale (SEARS). This study utilized a single-case design; the researcher collected data throughout the duration of the study, including baseline, treatment, and follow-up phases. The sample included 5 children ranging from ages 6 to 8 years old: 3 Caucasian males, 1 African-American female, and 1 Latin-American female. Mothers of the participants completed the parent form of the SEARS once per week throughout all phases of the study. During the treatment phase of the study, the children participated in CCPT approximately 2 times per week for 30 minutes each time. Visual analysis of the data indicated play therapy was beneficial for three participants, as they demonstrated improvements in social competence, empathy, and self-regulation. Two participants responded to the intervention with mixed results. Discussion includes implications for clinical practice and future research as well as limitations of the study.
Play Therapy Instruction: A Model Based On Objectives Developed by the Delphi Technique
The purpose of this study was to determine the core skills/methods and practicum experiences play therapy experts and professors believe to be essential in the education of the beginning play therapist in the specific areas of theory and history, terms, organizations, authors who have contributed to the field, methods, skills, training in special populations, practicum experience, and advanced skills. Two questionnaires were used to obtain opinions from play therapy experts and play therapy instructors. The first questionnaire was sent to twelve play therapy experts to obtain their opinions on the core curriculum and experiences necessary for training a play therapist in an introductory play therapy class, practicum experience, and advanced play therapy training. Frequencies and means were obtained and used to delete and add items for Questionnaire II. Questionnaire II was sent to 180 play therapy professors. Fifty play therapy professors returned the instrument. The ratings on Questionnaire II given by the professors were used to provide curriculum guidelines for developing a play therapy program. This program includes an introduction to play therapy course, play therapy practicum experiences, and advanced skills and advanced practicum experiences.
Predicting beginning master's level counselor effectiveness from personal characteristics and admissions data: An exploratory study.
In this exploratory study of 95 counseling program master's students at a large southwestern public university, students' scores on an admissions Group Interview Sociometric Rating did not correlate with their GRE Analytic Writing (GRE-AW) scores nor their basic skills course instructors' end-of-course assessment of students' counseling-related personality traits (Personality) or mastery of basic counseling skills (Mastery). However, Mastery was predicted by both Personality, with a large effect size, and GRE-AW, with a medium effect size. This study provides promising preliminary evidence that counselor educators may use Counselor Personality Assessment Ratings and GRE-AW scores to screen master's applicants by predicting students' abilities to master basic counseling skills early in their counselor preparation. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are discussed.
A Predictive Model of Adolescent Persistence in Counseling
Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by profound social and emotional changes. Counseling can serve as a protective factor for decreasing the long-term negative emotional effects. Despite this fact, counselors continue to struggle with high rates of attrition among adolescent clients. When examining trends of client persistence in counseling across the lifespan, researchers found a relationship between the presence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Additionally, they found that high levels of familial stress predicted premature termination from counseling. The purpose of the current study was to create a predictive model of adolescent persistence in counseling. I examined both personal and environmental characteristics of adolescents who sought counseling services (N = 72) from an on-campus university counseling clinic that serves as a training facility for master’s and doctoral students at an accredited counselor education program in the southwestern United States. Participants were predominantly White (67.6%, n = 50), with a mean age of 14.23 (SD = 1.65). Nearly 60% (n = 44) of the clients were female, and 37.8% were male (n = 28). Beyond descriptive variables, eight predictor variables were examined: adolescent involvement in their intake, time spent on the wait list, four domains of parental stress, and parent perceptions of adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors. A multiple linear regression was conducted to understand how much of the variance in the number of counseling sessions attended by adolescent clients was explained by the predictor variables. The regression analysis was statistically significant (p = .008) and accounted for 29.1% (R2adj = .192) of the variance in sessions attended. Of the variables examined, externalizing behaviors (42.82%) accounted for the most variance in sessions attended, followed by whether the adolescent was involved in the intake (29.16%), internalizing behaviors (12.96%), and parent-focused stress (10.30%). An examination of the two strongest predictors in correlation to ...
Preferences among student counselors regarding informed consent practices within counselor education.
The purpose of this study was to investigate student preferences for content, timing, and method of informed consent within counselor education programs. Participants included 115 students enrolled in counseling internship courses at six counseling programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Participants completed the Informed Consent Preferences Questionnaire (ICPQ), an instrument designed specifically for this study through systematic instrumentation development. Descriptive statistics highlighted participants' moderate to high ratings of perceived importance for an array of suggested content pieces for student informed consent. Participants varied among themselves and between items in relation to preferred timing of informed consent, and they consistently reported a desire for student informed consent to be facilitated through a combination of both oral and written methods. Results of exploratory factor analysis revealed a simple eight-factor structure within the ICPQ and suggested strong internal reliability. Correlations for participant scale scores for the eight factors revealed a variety of small to medium correlations. Results from t-test and one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA) indicated that participant preferences did not vary according to demographic variables. Finally, participants' qualitative responses revealed high levels of support for student informed consent. Findings of this study may aid counselor educators in evaluating current program informed consent practices. As a result of evaluation, counselor educators can affirm existing, and/or design new informed consent practices that accurately reflect the needs and desires of counseling students. Future researchers may also utilize the results to guide additional studies related to the practice of student informed consent.
Process of identifying a guiding theory: An exploratory study.
At the University of North Texas, and as per the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, masters students in counselor training are required to choose a personal theoretical approach to the counseling process. The purpose of this study was to investigate an experimental counseling theory identification procedure compared to the traditional procedure of helping students identify a personal theory of counseling. The investigation assessed the effect on 1) counselor self-report of confidence in theoretical orientation selection/identification, and 2) the degree to which a student consistently identifies, conceptualizes and utilizes a particular counseling theoretical approach. Volunteer participants (n=35) were recruited from three sections of COUN 5660 and were randomly drawn to group assignment within each class. The experimental condition focused on exploration of personal beliefs related to human nature, maladjustment and the nature of change as a basis for theory selection. The comparison group received the standard theory selection activities. The TCQ and TOPS-R were used to examine the effect of treatment and were administered at three points of time. Data was analyzed using a split plot ANOVA to examine group differences, changes across time, and the possible interaction of change with group membership. Statistical and practical significance of findings were analyzed. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between groups over time. Because findings revealed statistically significant main effect findings for time-ranging from moderate to large-post hoc analysis was conducted. One-way ANOVAs were conducted for each dependent variable to further understand results. Results indicated that both groups demonstrated a statistically significant increase over time in theory confidence, with large treatment effects for both groups. Post hoc results on the TOPS-R Humanistic/Existential scale and the Cognitive/Behavioral scale revealed mixed results regarding treatment effect.
A Program Evaluation of a Residential Treatment Center with a Family Counseling Component
This study was an evaluation of the effectiveness of a residential treatment program for adolescents and young adults. The purpose of the investigation was to measure the impact of residential treatment with and without family counseling on the variables of work-school adjustment and return to treatment.
The relationship between Adlerian personality priorities of clients and counselors and the therapeutic working alliance.
The purpose of this research was to determine if a relationship exists between quality of the therapeutic working alliance and counselors' and clients' Adlerian personality priorities. Variables included counselors' and clients' Adlerian personality priorities and ratings of working alliance. Information for counselors' and clients' Adlerian personality priorities was obtained on the Allen Assessment for Adlerian Personality Priorities (AAAPP; Allen, 2005). Working alliance was measured with the Working Alliance Inventory- short revised (WAI-SR; Hatcher & Gillaspy, 2006). Participants included 14 counselors and 31 clients from a community counseling clinic on a university campus in the southwest United States. Results suggested that match between counselors' and clients' Adlerian personality priorities is related to counselors' perceptions of quality of the therapeutic working alliance. Statistically significant values were found on one hypothesis, as well as large effect sizes.
Relationship between child centered play therapy and developmental levels of young children: A single case analysis.
This study used a single case design to explore the relationship between individual child-centered play therapy on children with developmental delays by examining its effectiveness in: 1) increasing measured developmental age; 2) reducing problematic behaviors related to developmental delays; and 3) increasing developmentally appropriate behaviors. Three participants were assessed weekly with both developmental and behavioral measures during the three phases of the study: baseline, intervention, and follow up. Additionally, parents of the participants completed behavioral measures at pretest, midpoint, and posttest administrations. The participant's weekly standard scores were graphed and results were examined separately using visual analyses. Changes between phases: non-intervention baseline, intervention, and non-intervention follow-up were examined; specifically, the level, trend, and variability of the data across the phases were examined. Each of the three participants served as their own control group in this single case analysis and their results, and all three of the participants demonstrated improvement on the developmental measures after receiving the play therapy intervention. Results from this single case analysis suggest the need for further replication, use and reporting of single case interventions and designs, to promote the efficacy of counseling interventions and to potentially enhance the literature and research base for evidence based interventions.
The Relationship Between Professional Sexual Boundary Violation And Sex Addiction: An Exploratory Study Of Post-treatment And Retrospective Pre-treatment Dispositions
In this exploratory study, 35 male professionals who had successfully completed residential sex addiction treatment were surveyed. Respondents’ median age was 47.5, and reported ethnicities were White (89%), Asian, (9%) and Hispanic (2%). Prior to intake, 17 respondents had reportedly violated sexual boundaries with patients, clients, or staff (BV group) and 18 reportedly had not (NBV group). Respondents completed a demographic information form and two validated instruments: (a) Sexual Symptom Assessment Scale (S-SAS), measuring symptom severity of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB); and (b) Boundary Violation Index (BVI), assessing frequency of risk factors for Sexual Boundary Violation (SBV). Respondents reported a very large decrease in CSB symptom severity over time (partial 2 = .856), change that was statistically equal for respondents in the BV and NBV groups. Furthermore, respondents reported a large decrease in SBV risk over time (partial 2 = .620); however, the BV group reported a greater decrease in SBV risk than the NBV group (partial 2 = .221). Reductions in both CSB symptoms and SBV risk were stable over time, up to five years post discharge. CSB symptoms and SBV risk were not correlated at retrospective pre-treatment, but for practical purposes, were moderately correlated at post treatment (r = 0.386, n = 25, p = 0.057). Although not significant, correlation at pre-treatment was more than twice as strong for the BV group than for the NBV group. Days of Treatment was a meaningful, although non-significant, contributor to decreases in CSB symptom severity (? = -.323). Similarly, Days of Treatment (? = -.785), Counseling (? = -.303), Recovery Support (? = -.292), and Continuing Education (? = -.259) were meaningful, although non-significant, contributors to decrease in SBV risk. At study participation, 77.1% of respondents had reportedly retained their professional licenses, although 15.4% reported having received a new licensing board ...
The Relationship of Counselor Education Program Applicants’ Cognitive Complexity to Other Admission Criteria
Counselor cognitive complexity is a counselor’s ability to recognize and organize multiple characteristics that might affect client needs. I examined whether various admissions criteria–Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores; previous coursework grade point averages; and faculty co-leaders’ admissions group interview ratings–for 182 applicants to a southwestern U.S. CACREP-accredited master’s counseling program predicted cognitive complexity scores on a modified Counselor Cognitions Questionnaire (CCQ). Participants were predominantly ages 20 to 30 years (91.8%), female (91.8%), and White (81.3%). Multiple regression analyses showed statistical significance with small effect sizes: the admissions criteria together significantly predicted cognitive complexity differentiation (p = .033), accounting for 6.6% of variance, and cognitive complexity integration (p = .003), accounting for 9.8% of variance. The small effect sizes and low variance percentages support the idea that cognitive complexity measured by the modified CCQ is a substantially different phenomenon from commonly-assessed academic aptitude and personality characteristics. If future researchers confirm these findings with additional samples, subsequent researchers could determine whether one or both domains of cognitive complexity, either alone or in combination with one or more of the commonly used admissions criteria, could help counselor educators better predict which applicants will be successful in master’s programs and the counseling field.