Monthly Archives: June 2012

Quick hits for June 29: Interesting reads for counselors from around the Internet

Heather Rudow June 29, 2012


  • Undue stress during pregnancy can lead to increased complications for newborns.
  • Playing video games improves employee health.
  • Chronic stress has a marked impact on brain function.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy is shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders.
  • Forty million Americans are addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
  • Mental Health America calls the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act a “tremendous victory.”

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

Judge throws out counseling student’s suit against Augusta State

By Heather Rudow June 28, 2012

(Photo: Flickr/Sir Mildred Pierce)

A federal district court in Georgia dismissed a case from a former Augusta State University counseling student, ruling that school officials did not violate the First Amendment when asking her to complete remedial training in response to her statements about counseling homosexual clients.

Jennifer Keeton sued the university in 2010 after being told by faculty that, unless she completed a remediation plan, which included attending diversity workshops and reading articles about counseling GLBTQ students, she would have to leave the program, Student Press Law Center reports.

Keeton was ordered to participate in remedial training based on comments she made about homosexuality in and out of the classroom, including suggesting that she would use reparation therapy when counseling.

Though originally agreeing to the plan Keeton withdrew her consent, citing her religious beliefs.

“I really want to stay in the program,” she wrote to faculty in an email, “but I don’t want to have to attend all the events about what I think is not moral behavior, and then write reflections on them that don’t meet your standards because I haven’t changed my views or beliefs… My biblical views won’t change.”

The American Counseling Association opposes the use of reparative therapy for homosexual clients.

“From the American Counseling Association’s perspective this is very much the right decision, says ACA Chief Professional Officer David Kaplan on the judge’s ruling. “It supports the ACA Code of Ethics as well as CACREP guidelines.”

The decision supported the role of the ACA Code of Ethics, cited by ASU, as the professional standard that governs how counselors should approach and work with clients and avoid using their personal beliefs in an influential manner.

The case echoes an earlier ruling in a case involving an Eastern Michigan University (EMU) counseling student, who claimed she was unfairly dismissed from the counseling program after refusing, on religious grounds, to counsel a homosexual client. The judge in the case rejected the lawsuit, holding that EMU was reasonable in its requirement that counseling students be able to serve homosexual clients and dismissing that her religious and speech rights were violated.

However, Kaplan says, lawmakers are retaliating by passing conscience clauses, legislation which seeks to ensure that professional therapists – including licensed professional counselors – won’t lose their licenses for denying services on religious grounds. The latest state to do so is Arizona, which recently enacted Senate Bill 1365.  ACA wrote to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer urging her to veto the legislation, but she signed the bill into law this last May.

“What Arizona lawmakers don’t seem to grasp is that counseling is about the client and their needs, not the counselors’,” says Scott Barstow, director of public policy and legislation for ACA. “There are lots of different religious beliefs out there, and yours or mine isn’t the only valid one.”


Quick hits for June 28: Interesting reads for counselors from around the Internet

Heather Rudow

(Photo: Flickr/ din!)

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) calls on the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services to increase their capacity to serve veterans and their families by including community mental health agencies and private practitioners as providers.
  • A well-known Christian group distances itself from reparative therapy.
  • Women who are anxious before in vitro fertilization are not any less likely to conceive.
  • A mother’s heartbreak can be lethal.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

Quick hits for June 27: Interesting reads for counselors from around the Internet

Heather Rudow June 27, 2012

(Photo: Flickr/ carmichaellibrary)

  • Students with disabilities and behavioral issues are at an increased risk for being bullied and bullying others.
  • Spending time on Facebook might give you a self-esteem boost.
  • Physical activity has a positive effect on kids with ADHD.
  • Test scores improve dramatically when students are rewarded.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

Quick hits for June 26: Interesting reads for counselors from around the Internet

Heather Rudow June 26, 2012

(Photo:Flickr/Two Roses)

  • Current mental health services in the United States are not adequately equipped to help the country’s Latino population, according to a newly released study by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities. The study cites cultural, social and language barriers as hindrances to care.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society is funding a research project to investigate whether chronic stress is a risk factor in developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. “This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug-based treatments to fight the disease,” said Clive Holmes, lead investigator on the study.
  • Four inmates who struggle with mental illnesses are taking part in a class-action lawsuit alleging that they have not received adequate mental health services since being held at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, the country’s most secure “supermax” penitentiary.
  • When an elderly person falls, his or her physical health is always a primary concern. But research has found that mental health should be a focus as well after a new study discovered that older people struggling with depression are more likely to fall.
  • After recalling a negative event, thinking about a loved one or a romantic partner can make you feel better, reduce negative thoughts and possibly lead to fewer mental and physical health problems for at least a month afterward, according to Cornell University researchers.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at