When a client seeks help, often the focused, tailored nature of individual counseling is exactly what he or she needs. But sometimes there is a particular alchemy in a group. Many clients benefit from group counseling, either in addition to or instead of individual treatment. Why is that? The counselors to whom we spoke pointed…continue reading
Self-care in the world of empirically supported treatments
Is it possible that the frequently shallow practice of counselor self-care and the growing reliance on menu-driven, empirically supported interventions are not random parallel processes?
Incorporating feedback-informed treatment into counseling practice
Collecting formal client feedback can help counselors check their assumptions about the quality of the therapeutic alliance and outcomes, increase the effectiveness of counseling and privilege the client’s voice.
Dispatches from Nepal: A drop in the bucket
The 10 days that Jeffrey Kottler spent in earthquake-ravaged Nepal this month were exhausting and painful but also some of the most worthwhile work of his career, he says.
No laughing matter?
Counseling is serious business, but there is also something to be said for skillfully using humor as a therapeutic tool with clients, students and ourselves.
Counselors engaged in group work often marvel at the dynamic of ‘peer power’ to effect change in clients’ lives.
A client comes in for his first counseling session. He has a carrot sticking up his nose and a banana in his left ear. “Help!” the client cries. “Can you tell me what’s wrong with me?” “Simple,” the counselor says calmly. “You’re not eating properly.” Laughter is an essential part of the human experience, so it’s no…continue reading
Chances are that an online review of a product or service has significantly influenced your decision to purchase something (or not purchase something) recently. In fact, one research study reports that 84 percent of Americans say online reviews influence such decisions (see www.saurageresearch.com/online-consumer-reviews-drive-sales/). Furthermore, 63 percent of customers say they are more likely to make…continue reading
Coming on the heels of its successful annual conference and expo in March in Orlando, Florida, the American Counseling Association is turning its attention to another conference in a tropical locale. This one, however, will be across an ocean. The inaugural American Counseling Association-Asia Pacific Counseling Conference 2015, or ACA-APCC 2015, will be held June…continue reading
The 10 days that Jeffrey Kottler spent in earthquake-ravaged Nepal this month were exhausting and painful but also some of the most worthwhile work of his career, he says. Kottler served in a medical team with Empower Nepali Girls (ENG), the nonprofit he founded 15 years ago. The help the team members provided, including treating…continue reading
In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes that have devastated Nepal, Jeffrey Kottler has found that some of the most effective counseling tools available are empathy and a listening ear. Kottler, a professor of counseling at California State University Fullerton, is in Nepal to join the earthquake relief efforts of Empower Nepali Girls (ENG), the…continue reading
How do you determine your level of effectiveness in your work with clients? In everyday practice, counselors typically rely on clinical judgment and their own assumptions about the therapeutic alliance and client progress. Few would argue against the importance of good clinical judgment, but there is persistent evidence that counselors’ views of the alliance and…continue reading
I was raised with my mother telling me that the three things you were not supposed to discuss in polite company were religion, politics and money. Historically, counselors have also been hesitant to talk about religion or religious issues. This hesitancy is grounded in the profession’s belief in the separation of church and state and the…continue reading
One of the many profound changes within the counseling profession for mental health counselors has been a gradual shift from psychodynamic and person-centered therapies to an emphasis on the medical model. The full history of this shift is an interesting one, featuring as much sociopolitical influence as scientific influence, but that is beyond the scope…continue reading
The most potent of love potions, “romantic chemistry,” draws lovers into a trancelike experience that results in a steamy dance of infatuation, intrigue and sexual desire. Romantic chemistry, or the “urge to merge,” typically controls our rational mind, so much so that lessons learned and pledges made are neutralized in an instant. Although conscious desires,…continue reading