Counseling ‘unlikeable’ clients

It’s an unfortunate reality that counselors won’t automatically enjoy every client who walks through the door, but that shouldn’t alter the quality of care or the end goals of counseling.

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Radical alignment: A psychospiritual approach to conflicting values

“The crux of the problem then becomes more about the ‘how’ of finding solid ground when a counselor’s and client’s beliefs and values clash. How does the counselor begin to determine these elements to connect, or align, with the client?”

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The counselor’s role in ensuring school safety

The antidote to school violence, in all its forms, is an inclusive and resilient environment in which counselors are a visible presence and facilitate the building of relationships across the school community.

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Parents are part of a school, too

Think outside of the newsletter! There are many ways for school counselors to reach and engage parents as part of a healthy school community.

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ACA endorses animal-assisted therapy competencies

When done intentionally and correctly, animal-assisted therapy can be a useful tool for all types of counselors across a spectrum of settings, from classrooms with young children to older adults or veterans recovering from trauma.

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Cover Stories

The counselor’s role in ensuring school safety

Samantha Haviland was a junior and a peer counselor at Columbine High School in April 1999 when two of her fellow students brought weapons to school, killing 12 students and one teacher before dying by suicide. The massacre at the Littleton, Colorado, high school is often cited as the event that launched an era in…continue reading

Features

Branding-Images_Difficult

Counseling ‘unlikeable’ clients

It’s not a politically correct statement, but, sometimes, clients are tough to like. Yes, counselors are supposed to remain professional at all times and practice unconditional positive regard. But they are also human, and fending off creeping feelings of “dislike” can be a challenge, especially when clients espouse racist, misogynistic or homophobic beliefs; have abrasive…continue reading

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Embracing intuition

One meaning of intuition is “something that is known or understood without proof or evidence.” Given that definition, it’s not surprising that objectively studying and measuring a counselor’s intuition can be challenging. But that hasn’t stopped Jesse Fox from trying. In 2013, as part of research Fox was doing for his dissertation, he set out…continue reading

Catherine Roland, surrounded by students from the first counselor Ph.D. cohort at Montclair State University, at a farewell dinner held for her as she was leaving the university in 2013. Roland was instrumental in creating the university’s counselor Ph.D. program. The students gave her  this photo in a frame inscribed with the words “Thank you for believing in us!”

Counseling’s connector-in-chief

When you see Catherine Roland at a professional event, the number of lives she has touched throughout her career soon becomes clear. “You can go to any American Counseling Association conference, and when [Roland] walks down the hall, people are constantly stopping her, running up to her, hugging her. She’s left behind quite a trail…continue reading

Online Exclusives

Radical alignment: A psychospiritual approach to conflicting values

Standard A.4.b. of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics notes that “counselors are aware of — and avoid imposing — their own values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors” in an ethical practice. Counselor educators and students often need a practical approach for accomplishing this goal when it comes to conflicting religious or spiritual perspectives in the…continue reading

Parents are part of a school, too

A school counselor’s first and foremost focus should – of course – be their students. However, to maintain a healthy, safe and resilient school community, school counselors need to include parents in the equation. Counseling Today spoke with several counselors who have experience in school settings for an upcoming article on school safety. They offer…continue reading

Knowledge Share

Counseling babies

“There is no excuse for our society’s not putting scientific knowledge into practical use. … We must remember — the first few months of life are not a rehearsal. This is the real show.” — Irving B. Harris   A casual conversation on any given day: “Oh, you’re a counselor! For what ages? I have…continue reading

Addressing ethical issues in treating client self-injury

As professional counselors, we enter this field with a desire to understand and help others. There comes a time in every counselor’s career, however, when intellectual understanding is overpowered by the need for empathic understanding. This is particularly true when counselors work with clients who intentionally cut, burn, scratch, hit or otherwise injure themselves. Jennifer Muehlenkamp and…continue reading

Member Insights

Lessons from Lilongwe

During my first internship as a master’s student, I provided in-home family counseling and quickly became overwhelmed by the needs I thought I saw in my clients’ lives. Most of my clients had low incomes, and some lived in subsidized housing. With excellent supervision, I did my best to provide counseling, but as a new…continue reading

Recognizing and managing deception in the therapeutic relationship

I had been working with “Alex,” an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, for longer than six months. His hyperactivity had become a major problem at school, and much of our clinical focus had been on managing behavior in the school environment. Each week, Mrs. T, his mother, who drove almost three hours to bring Alex…continue reading