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The Experience of Language Use for Second Generation, Bilingual, Mexican American, 5th Grade Students
There is a paucity of research regarding language use among bilingual clients, particularly with Latino children. In order to provide culturally sensitive counseling for bilingual, Spanish-speaking, Latino children it is important to understand their experience of language use. The purpose of this study was to investigate how second generation, bilingual, Mexican American, 5th grade students experience language use in the two languages with which they communicate. I employed a phenomenological method to data collection and analysis and conducted semi-structured individual and group interviews with three boys and five girls (N = 8). Analysis of the individual and group interviews yielded four main structures: (a) dominant language determined perception of developing dual selves, (b) speaking two languages useful in language brokering and upward mobility, (c) dominant language determined experience of language use, and (d) language use and aspects of the complementarity principle. Findings from this study suggest that bilingual Latino children experience language brokering for their parents as difficult, speaking two languages as useful regarding upward mobility, and that their dominant language influences various aspects of their daily experiences such as with whom and where they use each language. Limitations to this research include insufficient time building rapport with participants and challenges related to unexplored dimensions of bilingualism in the counseling research literature. An overarching implication for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education is that bilingualism, language use, and the depth of experience of Latino children are largely understudied topics.
Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) with Latina/o Children Exhibiting School Behavior Problems: Comparative Effects of Delivery by Spanish-Speaking and English-Speaking Counselors
The shortage of bilingual counselors is one barrier to young Latina/o children receiving mental health services. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a developmentally responsive intervention based on the premise that play is children's natural means of communication across cultures. This randomized controlled study examined the effects of CCPT with young Spanish-speaking Latina/o children exhibiting clinical levels of school behavior problems. Participants were 57 pre-K to kindergarten Latina/o children (72% male; mean age = 4.0) randomly assigned to three treatment groups: CCPT with Spanish-speaking, bilingual counselors; CCPT with English-speaking, monolingual counselors; or active control (bilingual mentoring). Monolingual counselors participated in cultural competency training and supervision with bilingual counselors and supervisors. According to independent observers and teachers blinded to children's group assignment, both the bilingual CCPT group and the monolingual CCPT group demonstrated moderate treatment effects over bilingual mentoring, yet between-group differences were not statistically significant. Analysis of within-group change over time indicated that children in both CCPT interventions demonstrated statistically significant improvement, while the mentoring group did not. The percentage of children in each treatment group who improved from clinical to normal behavioral functioning suggests the clinical significance of the findings: 80% bilingual CCPT, 70% monolingual CCPT, 15% bilingual mentoring. Overall, findings indicate that CCPT, whether delivered by bilingual counselors or culturally-competent, monolingual counselors, is a promising intervention for young Latina/o children exhibiting behavior problems.
The Effectiveness of Peer Mentoring with High School Student Mentors and Child Mentees
This randomized, controlled study examined the effectiveness of two mentoring programs, child mentor relationship training (CMRT) and peer assistance and leadership (PAL®), on high school mentor empathic behaviors and child mentee behavior problems. Participants were 60 young, at-risk students (61.7% male; 38.3% Hispanic/Latino/a, 31.7% Caucasian, 21.7% African American, 8.3% biracial) and 30 high school students (53.3% male; 66.7% Caucasian, 26.7% Hispanic/Latino/a, 0.03% African American, 0.03% Asian). Mentors and mentees were randomly assigned to CMRT or PAL®, which was treatment as usual in the participating school district. Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated compared to the PAL® treatment group over time, mentors in the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in empathic behaviors with a large treatment effect, as rated by independent observers. Analysis revealed a moderate treatment effect with CMRT group mentee behavior problems, but the difference was not statistically significant between treatment groups over time. Further analysis revealed the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant reductions in behavior problems from pre- to post-test with a very large treatment effect. Overall, findings support CMRT as a promising school-based intervention for at-risk young children that potentially increases school counselor efficiency.
Effect of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Adoptive Parents of Preadolescents: A Pilot Study
Older adopted children and their families often express high need for support for attachment and trauma related concerns. Post-adoption mental health intervention focused on enhancing the parent-child relationship among adoptive parents and adoptees is essential for fostering placement permanency among these families. This single group pilot study explored the effect of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for adoptive parents of preadolescents who reported attachment related concerns, stress in the parent-child relationship, and child behavior problems. Participants were 11 adoptive parents ages 25 to 64 (55% male; 91% couples; 100% married; 56% European American, 27% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 9% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 8 to 14 (56% male; 56% Hispanic, 33% European American, and 11% Black American). All child participants were adopted out of foster care. Data was collected at baseline, pretest, midtest, and posttest. Results from non-parametric Friedman test of differences across 4 points of measure indicated that CPRT demonstrated statistically significant improvement for the 3 outcome variables: parental empathy, child behavior, and parent child relationship stress. Specifically, results indicated that prior to receiving CPRT (baseline to pretest), parents demonstrated no change or worsening in functioning across all variables, whereas during the intervention phase findings showed a large treatment effect for parental empathy, a medium effect for parenting stress, and a small effect for child behavior problems. Findings from this pilot study support CPRT as a promising mental health intervention for adoptive parents and preadolescent children. Clinical implications and recommendations for working with adoptive parents of preadolescents are explored within the context of these findings.
Child-Centered Play Therapy with Children Affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Single Case Design
Child centered play therapy (CCPT) is a therapeutic intervention that provides the environment for children to work through and heal from difficult experiences through expression of play and therapeutic relationship. It has been demonstrated effective with multiple types of disruptive behaviors. I conducted single-case research to explore CCPT's influence on children who had four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and provided analysis of data collected from one assessment administered weekly and one assessment at pre-, mid-, and post-intervention: the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Young Children. The two participants (one 8-year-old White American male and one 9-year-old White American female) demonstrated significant improvement in total difficulties and prosocial behaviors. The study revealed potential therapeutic benefits for utilizing CCPT with children who had four or more ACEs. Encompassed in discussion of study results are implications for practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations.
Counselors Explore their Attachment Strategies: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
This study explored participants' experiences of being interviewed with the Adult Attachment Interview as a means of supporting counselor self-awareness and fostering effective counselor-client working alliances. A sample of first-year counselor education doctoral students (n = 7) completed an AAI interview and feedback session. Participants completed five reflective journals over three weeks and explored their experiences in individual, semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed according to interpretative phenomenological analysis protocol. Four superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (a) reactions to the AAI interview process, (b) process with AAI feedback, (c) AAI and intrapersonal process, and (d) AAI and interpersonal process. Additionally, there were eight subordinate themes: (a) surprised by AAI interview process, (b) interview process sparked reflection, (c) initial reaction to AAI feedback, (d) evolving process of integrating AAI feedback, (e) AAI process increased awareness, (f) increased self-awareness increased self-efficacy, (g) awareness from AAI process prompted relational shifts, (h) impact of AAI on clinical work, (i) importance of relationships, (j) importance of self-awareness, and (k) mutual influence of personal and professional. Findings in this study suggest that the AAI is an effective tool in supporting counselor self-awareness regarding attachment strategies. Additionally, findings suggest multiple personal and professional benefits, such as increased awareness of conflict and stress management strategies. Limitations to the study and further discussion of the results are presented. Implications for clinical practice, counselor education, and future research are also included.
Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty
Pre-tenured faculty in higher education and as well as mothers have reportedly struggled with low wellness levels, high demands, little social support, and an imbalance of work and home life. Mothers in higher education and in counselor education have reported struggling with work-life balance, high scholarly productivity, and long hours as well as the emotional and physical energy demands of working with counselors-in-training. A search of the professional literature revealed a paucity of quantitative research regarding demographic characteristics, wellness levels, and social support levels of mothers among counselor education faculty (MCEs). Participants for this study were faculties of counselor education programs recruited from the Holland List of Counseling Programs and from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs online directory. A total of 180 MCEs participated (aged 29-63, with mean age 40.6 years; 83% Caucasian, 8% other, 5% African American, 3% Hispanic, <1% Asian). Results showed that faculty rank did not account for a significant difference among wellness scores of MCEs and that reported social support, tenure or non-tenure track, number of children in the care of MCEs, number of children under age 8, number of publications, and teaching workload accounted for 14% of the variance in wellness levels of MCEs. Specifically, reported higher teaching workload (β = -.194, rs2 = .35, p = .012) and higher social support (β = -.258, rs2 = .36, p = <.001) were found to be significant predictors of lower wellness levels among MCEs, both with small effects. Based on these results, MCEs may benefit from advocating that their departments and universities adapt to their unique needs to improve their levels of wellness and social support through mentoring, which, in turn, may result in not only their own increased productivity but also their students' increased wellness levels.
Examining Help-Seeking Intentions of Chinese Individuals: A Path Analysis
Utilizing the theory of planned behavior, I examined the variables that affect Chinese individuals' help-seeking intention. A total of 251 Chinese individuals participated in this study. Results showed that the variables in the theory of planned behavior accounted for 16% of the variance in help-seeking intention. Specifically, attitude (r = .22, p < .001) and perceived behavioral control (r = .22, p < .001) were found to be significant predictors of help-seeking intention. Based on these results, mental health professionals can design outreach interventions, such as psychoeducational programs, to improve Chinese individuals' help-seeking attitude and perceived behavioral control in an attempt to increase mental health service utilization. Additionally, counselors can discuss with clients' their attitude and perceived behavioral control regarding seeking counseling in an attempt to assist clients in being committed to the counseling process.
Empirical Benchmarks for Interpreting Effect Sizes in Child Counseling Research
The goal of this study was to establish empirical benchmarks for Cohen's d in child counseling research. After initial review of over 1,200 child intervention research studies published from 1990 to 2016, 41 randomized clinical trials were identified in which intervention and control groups were compared with children 3-12 years old (N = 3,586). Upon identification or calculation of a Cohen's d for each study, I calculated a weighted mean d by multiplying the effect size of each study by the number of participants in that study then dividing by total number of effect sizes. The weighted mean accounted for study sample size and served as the suggested medium effect size benchmark. Results indicated effect size is impacted in large part by type of reporter, with parents apparently most sensitive to improvement and yielding higher effect sizes overall; teachers relatively less sensitive, perhaps due to difficulty observing change in a classroom setting; and children self-reporting lowest levels of improvement, perhaps reflecting a lack of sufficient measures of child development. Suggested medium benchmarks for Cohen's d in child counseling literature are .70. for parent report, .50 for teacher report, and .36 for child self-report. Small and large benchmarks are suggested based on the use of standard deviations of the mean Cohen's d for each reporter.
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.
Coming Out: The Lived Experiences of LGB College Students who Feel Supported by Their Parents
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how LGB college students created meaning out of their coming out process to their parents. I recruited LGB college students who perceived support from their parents during their coming out process and asked the following research question: What are the lived experiences of LGB college students who have experienced support from their parents during the coming out process? Seven White (n = 4), African American (n = 2), and Hispanic (n = 1) college students, three men and four women aged 18-24 years, shared narratives that included time periods before, during, and after their coming out disclosures to their parents. Using an adapted phenomenological analysis, I identified nine major themes: awareness of feeling different, positive relationship with parents prior to coming out, college impacting the coming out process, feeling unsure of how parents would respond to disclosure, parents assuring continued loved and acceptance, parents affirming LGB identity, increased relational depth with parents, increased sense of authenticity, and an appreciation for family's response and support. The findings provide insight into how counselors might work most beneficially with LGB college students and their parents around the coming out process. Opportunities for future research and limitations of the study are discussed.
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.
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.
Black Males' Treatment Experiences in Mental Health Court: A Phenomenological Analysis
Mental health courts (MHCs) are part of an umbrella of specialty courts in which court officials, law enforcement, and treatment providers work together to seek alternative solutions to failed traditional approaches to justice. Researchers investigating MHCs indicated that the courts may be helpful in reducing recidivism and introducing offenders with mental health disorders to treatment services. I used the qualitative method of phenomenology to understand the experiences of young adult Black male clients' perceptions of mental health treatment in MHCs. Twelve participants ranged in age from 21-40 years. The research team identified three themes -- (a) helpful treatment factors, (b) relational growth, (c) treatment barriers – and five subthemes: (a) internal growth, (b) relational growth, (c) behavioral growth, (d) factors of marginalization, and (e) interpersonal barriers. Meaning pertaining to findings and implications for research and practice are discussed.
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.
Child Parent Relationship Therapy: A Program Evaluation
For the past 40 years, one southwestern US university counseling program has sponsored two mental health training clinics in which master's and doctoral level students have learned to provide child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) services to community parents. In their training, students learn about the positive effects of CPRT, particularly on parental stress. To date, however, no program evaluation has been conducted at these clinics focusing specifically on parental stress outcomes after the completion of CPRT or to determine the demographics and characteristics of parents who pursue CPRT. The purpose of this study was to conduct such an evaluation of archival data spanning 7 years. Participants were 129 parents (70% female, 30% male; 80% Caucasian, 35% Hispanic/ Latino, 6% African American, and 4% Asian; 62% married, 9% separated, 16% divorced). Results from a t-test indicated a statistically significant decrease in self-reported parental stress, with a moderate effect size. Multiple regression revealed that women and those who attended with a co-parent reported greater stress reduction. This study confirmed the benefit of CPRT, provided by counselors-in-training, on reducing parental stress and indicated clientele for which and conditions in which those benefits might be optimized.
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 Effects of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for Adoptive Families
Adoptive parents often struggle to understand and meet the social-emotional behavioral needs of their adopted child, particularly when the child's pre-adoption experience lacked a secure relationship with an attuned and responsive caregiver. This randomized controlled study, a replication of Carnes-Holt and Bratton's 2014 research, investigated the effects of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive families who reported attached-related concerns such as difficulties establishing a mutually satisfying parent-child relationship as well as concerns about the adopted child's behavior and parental stress. Participants were 49 adoptive parents (61% female; 7% couples; 86% European American, 6% Latino, 6% Asian, and 2% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 2.5 to 9 (50% female; 35% European American, 22% Asian, 12% Latino, 10% Black American, and 21% Biracial or other). Eighty-four percent of children were adopted internationally or from the foster care system. Parents were randomly assigned to CPRT or treatment as usual (TAU). Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated that compared to the TAU control group, parents who participated in CPRT reported statistically significant improvement in child behavior problems, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy, with a large treatment effects on all measures. Findings confirmed results from Carnes-Holt and Bratton's study and provided strong support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children.
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.
Social-Emotional Competencies of African American Children: Impact of Child-Centered Play Therapy
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 competence, and empathy. Thus, CCPT showed promise as a culturally responsive treatment intervention to improve African American children’s social-emotional competencies
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.
Child Centered Play Therapy with Children Exhibiting Aggressive Behaviors
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 children’s group membership in CCPT as significant and reasonably predictive of improvement in children’s aggression, self-regulation, and empathy. However, teachers did not perceive a statistically significant difference between the two groups with respect to these variables. These results suggest the relevancy of CCPT for parents in providing children with a developmentally responsive intervention to reduce aggressive behaviors and support their healthy development.
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.
Addressing Multicultural Issues in the Counselor Education Classroom: a Phenomenological Analysis
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 educator responsibility/gatekeeping. Findings from this study will add to the literature regarding infusion of multicultural issues across the curriculum. Additionally, the implications offered will serve as a resource for counselor educators as they experience unique personal and professional challenges when addressing multicultural issues in classrooms beyond the main multicultural or diversity course offered in counseling programs. Implications for this study may lead to development of more focused guidelines on how to increase the increase the comfort of counselor educators as they facilitate multicultural discussions and assist counselors-in-training in working toward cultural competence.
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 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.
Sexual Identity Development: Findings From an Exploratory Grounded Theory Study
Counselors and other mental health professionals lack training on healthy sexuality and sexual identity development (SID). To begin to construct a comprehensive model of SID that can be used in counseling and counselor education, I conducted an exploratory study utilizing a grounded theory approach to collect and analyze SID stories from a purposive sample of eight adults from the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area: four male and four female; seven White Caucasian-American and one Asian American; and self-identified as two gay, one lesbian, three heterosexual, and two sexually fluid. Participants elucidated a process model of the sexual-self that incorporated biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors. Emergent themes included discovering, distinguishing, placing boundaries around, differentiating, and integrating the sexual-self. This preliminary model advanced a more holistic understanding of SID that counselors and other mental health professionals, educators, and researchers may find useful within their respective disciplines.
Effectiveness of Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC) on Reduction of Symptoms of PTSD in Military Veterans: a Single Case Design
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 participants reported that the intervention was beneficial in targeting specific symptoms. Overall, the results indicated that REPC may have some benefit in reducing distress related to PTSD. More research is needed to further explore the effectiveness of REPC on the reduction of PTSD-related distress.
A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss
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 was found to be statistically significant using the Wilks’s λ = .611 criterion, F(25, 328.41) = 1.862, p = .008. The R2 type effect size was .389, which indicates the full model explains about 39% of the variance shared between the two variable sets. A second CCA was conducted to explore the relationship between characteristics of bereaved children and levels of parent-child relational stress. The full model was found statistically to be significant using the Wilks’s λ = .790 criterion, F(10, 154) = 1.926, p = .045. The R2 type effect size was .210, which indicates the full model explains ...
The Essence of African Americans’ Decisions to Seek Professional Counseling Services: a Phenomenological Study
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 counseling is (and is not) as well as different types of support that can be obtained from a professional counselor. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
Children’s Experiences in the Therapeutic Relationship: Development and Validation of a Self-report Measure
Most counselors agree that the therapeutic relationship is essential in counseling. However, the current evidence-based treatment movement has resulted in a focus on treatment protocols and techniques in outcome research. Researchers have called for the inclusion of relationship variables in future outcome research. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically-supported, developmentally responsive intervention for children that emphasizes building a therapeutic relationship based on the philosophy of person-centered theory. Exploring the impact of the relationship on CCPT outcomes would be beneficial, but no current quantitative measure exists for obtaining the child’s view of the therapeutic relationship. The purpose of this study was to create a developmentally appropriate instrument to measure children’s perceptions of the therapeutic relationship. Established instrument development procedures were followed to create the Relationship Inventory for Children (RIC), a 15-item instrument for use in outcome research that measures the child’s perspective of the therapeutic relationship. Participants were 33 child experts who participated in interviews and preliminary testing of the instrument as well as 100 children whose scores on the 31-item pilot instrument were submitted to exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Children (62% male) ranged in age from 6 to 9 years (M = 6.92) and 53% identified as Caucasian, 14% as Hispanic, 14% as African American, 2% as Asian American, 0.8% as Native American, 8% as Multiracial, and 9% unreported. The EFA resulted in three factors: Positive Regard, Unconditional Acceptance, and Empathy. Implications for further development of the RIC, for use of the RIC in research, and for application of the RIC to person-centered theory are discussed.
Child-Centered Play Therapy Parent Services: a Q-Methodological Investigation
Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an empirically supported and developmentally appropriate counseling intervention for young children. Despite the clinical effectiveness of CCPT with children, no known study has been conducted in which parents were surveyed or interviewed regarding the services they have received as a part of their children’s participation in CCPT. Therefore, this study was designed to gain a better understanding of parents’ reported needs and expectations in CCPT. This study utilized Q-methodology in which participants completed a Q-sort by actively sorting 40 items on a continuum of least important to most important. Items included services and processes regarded by CCPT scholars and child therapy practitioners as being important to working with parents. Data was collected from 19 parents of children receiving CCPT services in a community-based counseling clinic. Participants included 16 females and 3 males; 15 Caucasian and 4 Hispanic; and 14 biological parents, 2 adoptive parents, and 3 other biological caregivers. Data was analyzed using centroid factor analysis, and results revealed a one factor solution representing 18 of the 19 participants. Eighteen parents reported similar beliefs regarding the processes they consider most and least important to their experience in working with child-centered play therapists. In general, parents’ beliefs aligned with CCPT philosophy, particularly in regards to respecting children’s natural pace of development and healing. Furthermore, parents shared preferences for play therapists who demonstrate expert knowledge and training and who understand the individual needs of their children. Discussion includes implications for the practice of CCPT and training of future play therapists, limitations of the study, and implications for future research.
Descriptive Analysis of Counseling Techniques Used by Selected Child Welfare Workers
The problem with which this study is concerned is that of a descriptive analysis of counseling techniques being used by selected child welfare workers. The method determining the counseling techniques being used was a questionnaire. Seven counseling techniques were tested on the questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed through the use of various sources. Validity and reliability of the questionnaire were not tested. The findings were inconclusive, based upon the data. The workers tended to show eclectic use of techniques. Psychoanalysis and client-centered therapy did poll the greatest number of positive responses. Z-scores and probability between the counseling techniques were determined. The findings supported the responses received by psychoanalysis and client-centered therapy. No recommendations were made.
Comparative Results of the Six Major Forms of Marriage Counseling
This study compares results of the six major forms of marriage counseling: individual interview, individual group, concurrent interview, concurrent group, conjoint interview, and conjoint group. Data are from five different approaches in research methodology. The first, termed the Pilot Study, reviewed the outcome records of 773 former marriage counseling clients. The second, termed the Experimental Study, assigned 63 couples on a random basis, although balanced for severity, to the three most popular forms of marriage counseling: concurrent interview, conjoint interview, or conjoint group. It included a pre- to post-counseling test comparison involving the MMPI, CPI, Polyfactor Test for Marital Difficulties, and the Marital Adjustment Inventory. The third approach, the Quasi-Experimental Study, compared test results from two groups of couples with serious marital problems: the first group comprised seven couples who had been in three forms of counseling, while the second group included twenty-one couples who had been in only one form. The fourth approach, the Survey Study, used a questionnaire to measure reactions of 200 subjects who had just completed various forms of marriage counseling sessions. The fifth approach, the Poll Study, involved a mail survey of 209 former marriage counseling clients who had been terminated from varying forms of marriage counseling for from one to three years.
The Effect of Intensive Remotivation Techniques on Institutionalized Geriatric Mental Patients in a State Mental Hospital
The problem with which this study is concerned is that of ascertaining the effects of intensive Remotivation Techniques on institutionalized geriatric mental patients in terms of their ward behavior, self-concept, and visual-motor perceptions and to compare these with the effects of a similar group experience that does not emphasize patient-staff or patient-patient interactions, and a third group which acts a a control. The investigation is designed to answer or obtain information concerning the following questions: (1) Do institutionalized geriatric mental patients in a state mental hospital manifest measurable changes in terms of their (A) ward behavior as defined as raw scores on the Hospital tment Scale (including interpersonal communication and interpersonal relations; self care and social responsibility; level of participation in ward activities, recreation and work therapy; total score), (B) self-concept as defined as Goodenough raw scores on the Draw-a-Person Test, and (C) awareness of environment as defined as Pascal and Suttell raw scores on the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, as a result of experiencing the social and verbal interactions of intensive Remotivation Techniques? (2) Is the Remotivation Technique more effective in producing these changes than a similar group experience that does not emphasize social and verbal interactions?
Effects of a Parent Education Program upon Parental Acceptance, Parents' Self-Esteem, and Perceptions of Children's Self-Concept
The problem of this study concerns the effects of a Parent Education Program upon parents' self-esteem, parental acceptance, and perceived self-concept of children. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of the Parent Education Program upon parents' self-esteem, parental acceptance, and children's perceived self-concept; and to investigate the relationships between parental acceptance, parents' self-esteem, children's perceived self-concept, and parents', teachers' and counselors' perception of children's self-concept.
Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Empathic Understanding in Child-centered Play Therapy
The purpose of this study was to explore how the therapist-provided conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding were experienced and conveyed in child-centered play therapy (CCPT). Although the therapist-provided conditions are considered essential to the therapeutic process in CCPT, a gap exists between child-centered theory and empirical exploration of the process and dynamics of these relational variables in CCPT. Due to the limited research in this area, a grounded theory approach was utilized to explore how the three variables emerge in CCPT. Participants included four advanced doctoral students, all Caucasian females with extensive training in CCPT, and 12 children ranging from 4 to 8 years of age receiving weekly, individual CCPT. One individual CCPT session was observed and video-recorded for each therapist-child dyad (n = 12). Following each observation, play therapists were interviewed regarding the observed play session (n = 12). During each interview, the researcher and therapist watched the recorded play session in its entirety and discussed noteworthy interactions between the child and therapist. The video-recorded play therapy sessions and therapist interviews were analyzed using a multiphasic, constant comparative method. Results of the analysis included a process-model of the therapist-provided conditions in CCPT, examples of play therapists’ internal experiences and external behaviors associated with the presence and absence of the therapist-provided conditions, and a model of the process play therapists utilize to respond to breaks and barriers to congruence, unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive self-regard in CCPT. Implications for clinical practice, training, supervision, and research are discussed.
Doctoral Level Counseling Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learning in a Cohort Environment
Learning community literature supports the use of student cohorts to enhance learning through increased peer interaction and common course work. Researchers employed the qualitative method of phenomenography to identify various ways doctoral counseling students conceptualize and experience learning in a cohort over the course of a single academic year. Participants were all 10 members of a single southwestern U.S. university counseling program doctoral cohort of full-time students between 20 and 59 years of age with 5 members 20-29, 4 members 30-39, 1 member 50-59; 8 female, 2 male; 9 White non-Hispanic, 1 African-American. Data were transcripts from 30 one-hour interviews, three for each participant over the course of their first year of study. The research team that analyzed the data consisted of three advanced counseling program doctoral students, each with research methods coursework. Results revealed nine dynamic structural aspects of learning: dialogue, diversity, knowledge, motivation, support, shared experience, relationship development, interpersonal awareness, and conflict. Findings support the use of learning communities in doctoral level counselor education programs. Cohort members demonstrated increasing awareness of the potential learning benefits of cohort interaction and developed more in depth strategies over time to utilize the cohort to enhance learning. Future counselor educators may now with greater confidence design learning communities and curriculum to facilitate doctoral cohort development for optimal student interaction.
Development of the Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Near-death Experiences Scale
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs) that would demonstrate acceptable psychometric properties. In consultation with a focus group of six NDE experts, I developed the 50-item Knowledge and Attitudes toward Near-Death Experiences Scale (KANDES), including the 24-item KANDES–Attitude subscale (KANDES-A) and the 26-item KANDES–Knowledge subscale (KANDES-K). Including a pilot administration in which feedback indicated no need for revision, a total of 256 professional and student counselors completed the KANDES. Separate reliability and validity analyses were conducted for each subscale. For the KANDES–A, Cronbach’s alpha was .909, and Pearson’s r for test-retest was .748, both indicating acceptable reliability. An exploratory factor analysis indicated four factors to retain and yielded a factor solution that explained 54.87% of the variance, an acceptable amount of variance to substantiate construct validity. For the KANDES–K, Cronbach’s alpha was .816, indicating acceptable reliability. For each of the scale’s three domains, Cronbach’s alpha was .816 for Domain 1: NDE Content, .817 for Domain 2: NDE Aftereffects, and .631 for Domain 3: Experiencer Characteristics, indicating acceptable reliability. Pearson’s r for test-retest on the total KANDES–K was .812, further demonstrating acceptable reliability.
Effects and Mediation of Child-centered Play Therapy on Young Children Who Are Anxious
Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood disorders, with a poor prognosis if left untreated. Traditional methods of treating anxiety have been less effective with young children. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding the potential effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a treatment approach, I sought to explore the effects and mediating factors of CCPT on young children with symptoms of anxiety. Fifty-three participants between the ages of 6 to 8 years old were recruited from four elementary schools, including 36 males and 17 females. Of participants, 11 were African American, 24 were Caucasian, 10 were Hispanic/Latino, one was Asian, and seven were biracial. Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving a mean of 15 sessions of individual CCPT, and 28 participants were assigned to an 8-session active control group. Five factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 for interpretation of statistical significance and Cohen’s d to assess practical significance. ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction with a large effect size on Total Anxiety score of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2nd edition (p = .013, d = .715). Subscale ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect with large effect size on the Worry subscale (p = .006, d = .795), no statistically significant interaction on the Defensiveness subscale (p = .710, d = .110), no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Physiological subscale (p = .076, d = .506), and no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Social Anxiety subscale (p = .162, d = .398). Statistically significant differences with large practical effects were found in total anxiety and worry, suggesting that children who received CCPT decreased their overall levels of anxiety and worry whereas children who were in the active ...
Confirming the Constructs of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment
The purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor model of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) in order to establish the instrument’s factor/structure validity using a sample different than that used in instrument development. The CIRAA was the first parent-report instrument based on child-centered theory and designed to measure play therapy outcomes. Its four factors are Self-Regulation (formerly Self-Control), Interpersonal Relationships, Coping Skills, and Internal Locus of Evaluation. For this study, the CIRAA was administered to 206 parents; their children were 75 females and 131 males aged 3 to 10 years old. The distributions of children’s genders and ages in this study were similar to the distributions of the sample used to develop the CIRAA. Based on confirmatory factor analysis results of overall goodness-of-fit indices; localized areas of strain; and interpretability, size, and statistical significance (p < .001) of the model's parameter estimate, the four-factor model of the CIRAA was confirmed with both theoretical and empirical support. Internal consistency reliability for the subscales and total score were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .928. A medium negative correlation (r = -.417, n = 47, p < .01) was found between the CIRAA total scores and Child Behavior Checklist Total Problems scores, a result in the expected direction. All subscales and total scores, except the Internal Locus of Evaluation score, distinguished differences between non-clinical and clinical samples. Altogether, results indicated that the CIRAA is appropriate for making clinical decisions about individuals. Limitations, additional implications, and future research are discussed.
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.
The Effects of Adlerian Play Therapy on Maladaptive Perfectionism and Anxiety and in Children
I used singlecase A-B-A experimental design to examine the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) for children identified with clinical levels of perfectionism on the Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised and Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised. Participants were 2 children, a 10 year-old Hispanic male and a 7 year-old Caucasian female. To examine the effect of AdPT on maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety, the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale and the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale were administered to the children twice weekly over 3 phases of the study: baseline (6 administrations), intervention (12-16 administrations), and maintenance (6 administrations) for a total of 24 to 29 data points. Additionally, parents and teachers completed the Conners Rating Scales-Revised5 times: (1) prior to study, (2) following baseline/prior to treatment, (3) midpoint of treatment, (4) following treatment, and (5) following maintenance phase.During the intervention phase, the male and female participants attended 21 and 16 play therapy sessions, their mothers attended 6 and 5 parent consultations, and their teachers attended 6 and 3 teacher consultations, respectively. Analysis of the child self-report assessments indicated mixed and inconclusive results regarding the effects of AdPT on target behaviors. However, results of the parent and teacher reports indicated clinically significant reductionsin maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety over the five points of measurement for both participants. The participants’ maladaptive perfectionism moved from the clinical to the normal range. Implications for practice and future research are indicated.
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.
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 ...