Monthly Archives: July 2014

Talking technology: Group of counselors looking to form ACA organizational affiliate

By Bethany Bray July 14, 2014

Email. Facebook. Smartphones. Technology is an ever-growing part of counselors’ day-to-day work. So much so, in fact, that the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics devoted an entire section to “Distance Counseling, Technology and Social Media.”

For those very reasons, a group of counselors have come together to form the Association for techCounseling and Technology (ACT).

Marlene Maheu, the association’s president, says ACT will focus on technology and its uses in counseling, as well as questions counselors have about using it in their work.

For instance, Maheu says, what if you communicate with a client through text messages, and then you lose your cell phone? How can a counselor use Twitter to promote a private practice or disseminate information to students? What about if a counselor is doing a session with a client via Skype, but the client closes the program and break off contact with the counselor?

“This whole [topic] is crescendoing,” says Maheu, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in San Diego who specializes in technology training at her online-based TeleMental Health Institute. “People have very, very good questions. It’s not that it’s complex, [but] it’s involved, and it requires some discussion.”

“The world is not going to wait for us to catch up,” she says. “Technology is evolving on many different fronts, and we as a group want to help counselors get in tune with that.”

ACT has submitted an application to the American Counseling Association Governing Council to become an organizational affiliate of ACA. The Governing Council is expected to consider the proposal at its meeting during the ACA Institute for Leadership Training in late July.

Maheu says ACT group leaders began collecting signatures for the application in March. More than 200 counselors signed during the first few weeks; ACT submitted more than 300 signatures with its application in June.

ACT has written bylaws and formed an executive committee in preparation for this month’s Governing Council hearing.

According to the ACA bylaws, the Governing Council can designate a group that is “moving toward divisional status” as an ACA organizational affiliate “until such time as it qualifies for division status.” Divisions must have a minimum of 500 members, while organizational affiliates must have a minimum of 200.

ACA currently has 20 divisions, but no organizational affiliates.

Regardless of what happens with the Governing Council, ACT will continue its work, says Donna Ford, a retired counselor who developed a formal initiative to support the professional use of technology during her term as president of ACA in 1999-2000. ACT aims to create a place for counselors to ask questions, discuss issues, stay up-to-date and “spread a message of best practices” about the latest uses and standards for technology and the counseling profession, Ford says.

ACT also plans to establish relationships with other entities within the profession, such as licensing boards, university counseling programs and ACA divisions, as well as serve as a voice for counselors in the technology world, such as with the creators of smartphone apps, Maheu says.

“We’re trying to bring the profession up to speed with what’s already going on [with technology],” she says.

Maheu and Ford have led Learning Institutes and Education Sessions on technology and counseling for several years at the annual ACA Conference. While they’ve been fielding questions and interest from counselors about the topic for years, it reached a “critical mass” this spring, according to Maheu.

“It’s just time,” she says. “It’s a function of the times that some group emerges to show some leadership and try and get more of an understanding of what’s going on [with technology].”

Ford notes that technology affects all counselors, no matter their specialty. “From mental health [counselors] to counselor educators, technology is going to affect the delivery of services we provide,” says Ford. “It’s a global thing.”

 

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To learn more about the Association for Counseling and Technology, or to get involved:

[website]

[Twitter]

[LinkedIn]

 

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Bethany Bray is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at bbray@counseling.org

 

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Through a Glass Darkly: Reparative therapy and the politics of counseling

By Shannon Hodges July 10, 2014

Recently, some 10,000 attendees gathered at the Texas Republican Convention to endorse a platform for the 2014 midterm election. The platform made national headlines for endorsing reparative therapy for gay people. Supporters of reparative or “conversion” therapy believe the treatment effective in turning gay people straight despite not a shred of evidence backing their claim. The point person promoting conversion therapy is Cathie Adams, president of the LGBTconservative Texas Eagle Forum. “Nothing is mandatory,” Adams wrote to CNN. “If a person chooses [conversion] counseling, then it should be made available. … It’s a freedom issue.”

Now I’m not surprised that the staunchly conservative Texas Eagle Forum is promoting reparative therapy. While I’m very disappointed the Texas GOP’s platform includes conversion therapy, that’s hardly an unforeseen occurrence given conservative political rhetoric. As a former Southerner long transplanted north of the Mason-Dixon DMZ, I’ve sadly been conditioned to expect Neanderthal Southern politics. I do not mean to paint everyone from the South with the broad brush of reactionary politics, but the Tea Party, voter suppression, anti-immigration initiatives and now conversion therapy thrive in fertile Dixie soil.

In fairness to Republican counselors, let me acknowledge that Democrats have plenty of human rights “sins” to atone for as well. Let’s never forget the 100 years of oppressive Jim Crow laws heavily aided by Dixiecrat politicians, including former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, the poster boy for white supremacy. Nor should we forget that Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act or that Hillary only recently came out in support of gay marriage. The pendulum of bias currently swings toward Republican culpability, but Democrats retain a pall over their own house.

 

Timing is everything

As I was growing up in the rural South in the 1960s and 1970s, politics was literally framed in terms of black and white. Race dominated every public discussion, with Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy pushing integration, while George Wallace, Lester Maddox and practically every other Southern politician pushing back with segregation. Even after the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964, racist politicians fought integration with riot police, fire hoses, attack dogs and their shadow organization — the Ku Klux Klan.

Fast forward to the present, and although economic segregation is still alive and well, few Southerners are surprised that African Americans serve as mayors, congressional representatives, governors — even president. There has been a level of racial acceptance on the part of most Southerners that people of my era find astonishing.

In no way, however, do I espouse that the United States or the South is today race blind. Just try and get an open discussion going on race in a classroom, in the work setting or among peers. Race remains a sensitive issue and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future. The sensitivity is generally less volatile though, as evidenced by the absence of the type of political rhetoric and brutal suppression witnessed through the end of the 1960s. Vestiges of racial politics, generally in the form of anti-immigration bills and voter suppression, both targeting African Americans and Latinos, certainly remain. But few politicians and political action organizations dare openly express racial hostility — just ask former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, who a few years back was forced out as Senate minority leader over racist language.

The human rights focus has now shifted to sexual orientation, an issue absent from the civil rights era radar screen, and activists, religious and social organizations, and of course politicians, have rushed to do battle, particularly regarding matrimony.

 

Changing times and shifting public opinion

Same-sex marriage became a reality in 2003 when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only heterosexuals to wed. Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized gay marriage, while judges in another 12 states have issued rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.

The latest Gallup Poll indicates public support for same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high of 55 percent, and more significantly, nearly 80 percent of millennials approve. Conservative religious organizations such as the Eagle Forum have pushed back, promoting “defense of marriage”-type legislation and now conversion therapy.

The counseling profession has a front row seat to the broader debate on sexual orientation. Ward v. Wilbanks and Keeton v. Anderson-Wiley are two high-profile court cases brought by student plaintiffs dismissed from graduate counseling programs for refusing to counsel gay clients. The results of these cases have spurred conservative activists to push “legislation of conscience” (i.e., discrimination on religious grounds) in state legislatures. Arizona recently passed legislation prohibiting graduate counseling, psychology, social work and other programs from compelling students to counsel gays and lesbians if such actions violate their religious beliefs. These initiatives are all being conducted under the guise of “freedom,” but make no mistake — they are ugly, old-fashioned, discriminatory practices gussied up with “mom and American pie” makeup.

Just imagine that a student in a counseling program who refused to counsel a Christian, claiming it violated his religious beliefs, was dismissed a la Julea Ward, then filed suit. Does anyone really believe the likes of the Eagle Forum would champion the student’s cause? Would conservative politicians push “free choice” legislation that supported refusing services to Christians? Ridiculous straw-man rhetoric, you might say, but frankly, it is not inherently different than the anti-gay agenda currently being pursued in several states.

 

What is our role as counselors?

The debates, debacles and battle skirmishes regarding sexual orientation are in full throttle in the workplace, legislative halls, pulpits and universities. Our professional ethics are clear, as sexual orientation has been part of the American Counseling Association’s nondiscrimination clause for some time, and counselor referral based solely on the grounds of sexual orientation represents a breach of the ACA Code of Ethics. ACA’s stance supports the right of LBGT persons to marry, adopt children and not be fired from a job over sexual orientation. It also implies that counselors should be as upset over sexual discrimination as over racial discrimination.

That stance is a controversial one for some students and counselors. The chair of the ACA Ethics Revision Task Force has suggested that counselors “bracket” their values during counseling. Thus, an evangelical counselor, for example, would set aside his or her own biases and focus on the client’s issues when counseling a gay person. Bracketing is not synonymous with acceptance. Said counselor could continue to believe that “homosexuality is morally wrong,” but as long as the counselor refrains from discrimination during counseling, he or she would be operating within ethical parameters.

Many readers likely are disturbed by that last sentence. Admittedly, the bracketing approach is a pragmatic as opposed to moral strategy, providing the advantage of sidestepping religious convictions. Still, in my opinion, bracketing does miss the finer points of counselor consciousness.

Undergirding the bracketing practice is the foundation of tolerance. Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has helped establish a “Wall of Tolerance.” Tolerance is a not a bad concept per se, but it has a fundamental flaw. For instance, I have tolerated my toothache and have occasionally tolerated annoying co-workers, bad bosses and challenging family members. The more critical issue, however, is affirmation, which implies not necessarily love, but rather an understanding that people different from us — religiously, culturally, sexually, etc. — have as much right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness as we do.

Albert Einstein wrote, “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice.” Likewise, true equality transcends tolerance; affirmation of LGBT persons — like that of the civil rights movement — represents the moral high ground of human rights. My Google search turned up 80 countries where being gay is illegal and 10 countries where the punishment for being gay is death. As a longtime supporter of civil rights organizations and causes, I hope to see social and religious organizations adopt the same advocacy for LGBT persons as has been done for racial pluralism. Changing our minds is not as hard as we imagine. While some religious leaders and politicians toss out fragmented, anti-gay verses from Leviticus, they ignore Scripture that condemns eating pork, verses governing women’s menstrual period and prohibitions against mixing fabrics, marrying an infinite number of wives, etc. Most egregiously, biblical Scripture was cited by Confederate religious and political leaders to support slavery. So, if some religious customs can change — and many have changed —those on sexual orientation can as well.

 

Toward the future

Discerning the future is an amateur practice fraught with gross speculation and certain error. But as my old high school algebra teacher counseled, do the math. Gallup polls indicate America’s youth are far more enlightened on LGBT issues than are previous generations, and this gives me hope. Actions such as the Texas GOP platform read like the desperate acts of a shrinking populace.

Given current trends, LGBT issues will likely follow a pattern similar to that of race, meaning sexual orientation will remain an issue for the foreseeable future, though likely without the open, hateful, fear-based rhetoric of the past and present.

As a former aspirant to religious life, I’ll close with one of my favorite verses: “There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear … as one who fears is not perfect in love” (1 John 4:17-19). The GOP and some religious leaders should meditate on this message.

 

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Shannon Hodges is a licensed mental health counselor and associate professor of counseling at Niagara University. Contact him at shodges@niagara.edu.

Hodge’s monthly “Through a Glass Darkly” columns will now be an online exclusive feature at CT Online.

 

No, I didn’t! Denial revisited

By Michael Hubbard July 7, 2014

denialGiven that I thought I’d cultivated my listening skills, it was uncharacteristic of me to so abruptly interrupt a patient who felt compelled to plead his court case of a criminal charge in group therapy. We in group, of course, were experiencing the very common occurrence of denial.

As part of a program in a largely forensic mental institution, our clinicians are primarily working with individuals convicted of some offense and admitted under the “guilty except for insanity” (GEI) determination. More specifically, my team’s sex offender treatment program works with those who have a sex offense conviction in their history and/or have been sexually assaultive or otherwise sexually inappropriate in the hospital.

Yet to take it out of the forensic arena, most counselors will have any number of client cases in which some form of denial may also play a central role. We see denial and so-called “resistance” in couples counseling, in family counseling and when working with any age and circumstance. We witness denial in issues of death and dying or with clients and families dealing with serious or terminal illness. And what counselor working in the drug and alcohol, gambling and other addictions field wouldn’t agree that denial is a hallmark in that client population? Ultimately, whatever level of denial we experience may be perceived as resistance and a barrier to treatment.

 

There are all kinds

While there are multiple types and levels of denial, most are ultimately rooted in avoiding or mitigating responsibility and accountability, generally more along the lines of minimizing or redefining behavior. Yet I have worked with some clients who engage in denial of facts, especially in the initial sessions. This is the classic denial of their offense or some other behavior. It’s also the very common default or impulsive defense mechanism among many of us, especially at a young age (“No, I didn’t break that window”).

In the case of the patient I interrupted, he not only denied the offense (a rape charge), he also denied any transgression in his entire life. Further, he was more focused on pleading his case with the group members and clinicians than on his treatment.

More common, however, are all the other types of denial. Many sex offenders with whom I have worked will engage in denial of impact or harm (“I only fondled her”), even if they admit to their offense. I see this often in cases of attempted rape, wherein the prevailing, and mistaken, attitude is often that there is less trauma if there was no penetration.

Yet we see that same perspective in other forms of rationalization (“Children are resilient; he’ll forget it”), in couples and family disagreements (“It’s always drama with her, so we don’t take her threats of suicide seriously”) and with other situations. Those who work with grief and bereavement will very likely identify with the upset client whose friends, family members or other acquaintances deliver minimizing and rather dismissive statements such as “time to move on,” “don’t dwell on it,” “get over it” and, of course, the trite “time will heal.”

Denial of intent is another common excuse (“It got out of control”). In my work, I’m often subjected to a curious phrase regarding date rape: “There we were … and it just happened,” thus jettisoning the fantasizing, the grooming and all the other behaviors that led up to a life-altering result.

Denial of responsibility, which is related to denial of intent, does not necessarily deny behavior, but is more along the lines of shifting blame. An example most of us have heard, particularly in working with children, is “He started it first.” In a more bizarre example, however, I had a client who was talking about a college female who was raped. His comment was, “Well, it happened in a fraternity. She should have known what was going to happen because that’s what happens at frat houses.”

There are many other types of denial, of course, including a minimizing form — denial of frequency (“It only happened once”) — and denial of fantasy (“I only fantasize about my girlfriend in a healthy way”). That fantasy example was voiced by a hypersexual patient who had molested many young boys over the years. He was engaging in impression management to impart an image of his engaging only in appropriate fantasies.

 

Do I really need this?

One important form of denial affects almost all counselors and other clinicians: denial of treatment need. Many clients with whom I’ve worked say, “I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never do that again.” While they may genuinely believe that, what they’re overlooking is that they may not have examined the circumstances that led to their offenses, their triggers and risk factors and, thus, what interventions to use. Yet this type of denial isn’t the sole property of those who have engaged in some form of criminal activity.

Many counselors in various settings deal with individuals who have been “coerced” into making appointments. It may be someone with gambling, alcohol or other addictions forced into treatment by families, friends or even a workplace supervisor. It may be someone who had a “dirty” urinalysis at work and was suspended until he or she engaged in some mandatory employee assistance program (EAP) sessions. Few of these individuals show up feeling the need for treatment, especially if it was not their choice.

Often, resistant clients show up in family counseling. These may be teenagers or others with behavioral issues, or a spouse with relationship problems, depression, sexual dysfunction or other presentations. Many of these clients feel that they don’t need counseling, or even if they agree to the need, they are embarrassed to be seeking mental health counseling. Stigma exacerbates a natural tendency to deny.

Many of the individuals pushed into counseling may feel that the problem is with their partner, their parents or with other relatives or friends. Even among those who admit to some level of treatment need or recognize a problem, many prefer to participate in the multibillion-dollar self-help industry of books and videos. Yet is that so very different from those who deny a disease or who think that they can lose weight or otherwise regain some level of health on their own through use of a book or video? The question remains whether an individual who feels confident in self-healing is still engaging in a form of denial. Perhaps so, but with placebo or other effect in place, does it matter if the outcomes are positive?

It may be important to explore why denial occurs in our clients, but a key question is whether denial is a deal killer in treatment. It may seem, for instance, that working with an offender who denies his or her crime is a barrier, but there are many who would disagree with that premise.

 

Does it matter?

In the world of sex offender treatment, most community-based and residential programs in the United States consider taking responsibility for offenses a key component of treatment. That would be defined as a disclosure or admission at least approximating police and victim reports, even if the offender minimizes or engages in other forms of denial. Use of polygraphs is also a common practice. In fact, it is generally a condition of parole.

By comparison, no Canadian sex offender programs require full admission of guilt, and one report indicates that only approximately 26 percent of Canadian community-based programs require any offense disclosure at all (McGrath, Cumming, Burchard, Zeoli, & Ellerby, 2010). That may seem counterintuitive. After all, how can one deal with any situation — whether offense-related or not — if the client denies its occurrence? The answer may rest in what we as clinicians are seeking, both in mining for information helpful in therapy and as an outcome.

But does it matter? While it would seem logical that issues are difficult to address if denied, in the sex offender world at least, data are indicating very little correlation between denial and recidivism. Some, in fact, would point out that denial is an indicator that the offender is well aware, and ashamed, that the act was inappropriate or deviant, in addition to being illegal. In such cases, perhaps our clinical attention is distracted by their denial and should be emphasized elsewhere (e.g., social skills, healthy relationships, etc.).

For those clinicians who believe that client denial does matter, some point to other contributing factors to denial, including the milieu. For instance, in group therapy, it’s reasonable to believe that initial denial would be both common and understandable, particularly with an individual newly introduced to the group. Safety and trust must generally be established. It’s the rare client who is willing to share his or her failures in front of strangers.

Yet one source of help is when the newer clients in group realize that there are others in the same boat, that they’re not alone and that there is support. While this is one of the many advantages of group therapy, a step-up approach with motivational interviewing and alliance-building in individual sessions may be required.

Even in smaller situations such as couples counseling, the sharing may be difficult at first. Yet there are also other dynamics involved in couples and family counseling, such as clients seeking support for “their side,” the fight over “right and wrong,” couples utilizing other techniques (e.g., manipulation) and the perceived or actual issues (even if they aren’t obvious to the clients).

 

Who’s responsible?

It’s far too easy for many of us to say that a client is “in denial” or “resistant.” As stated earlier, many U.S.-based sex offender programs require accountability, including reasonable admission of offenses, with the implication that treatment could be withheld if the offender refuses or resists.

Whether or not it matters may be determined on an individual basis. If it is deemed important, and if there is resistance, might this not be a responsivity issue? And if so, should we not be responsible ourselves as the clinicians?

Our program here is on a risk/needs/responsivity model. Simply put, higher-risk patients receive more intense treatment than those assessed at lower risk. Patient needs, including dynamic risk factors, are addressed as important factors in treatment. Responsivity is an indication of the patient’s response to and/or acceptance and digestion of the treatment approach, as well as a measure of the clinician’s ability to provide the service that will be most accepted.

So while we may feel justified in indicating that a patient’s intransigence is a barrier to treatment, are we not responsible on some level for treatment failure if we are not experiencing a response? And if we assume that responsibility, is it not our task to continue the search for treatment to which the patient may respond? Can we achieve a measurable outcome even in the face of denial? Obviously, some programs believe so. But how?

In a forensic setting, we’re seeking risk mitigation — simply put, to achieve a goal of returning the patient to the community without that individual committing another offense. But can risk mitigation be achieved even if the patient refuses to take responsibility for his offenses? Perhaps so if we’re able to work with the patient to discuss all the circumstances and other factors surrounding the offense. I call this the “backdoor approach.”

For instance, if a patient is willing to discuss what was going on in his or her life prior to, during and even after an offense — even without admitting to an offense — we may be able to identify and point out behavioral patterns and/or circumstances that would be considered potentially contributory to an offense. For example, while not necessarily an excuse for offending, if the patient states that he or she was on methamphetamine or other substances, a risk factor emerges.

I have had patients indicate that their offenses occurred after a break-up or during a rough period in a relationship. Regardless of whether one believes that watching pornography is pre-offense behavior, many have indicated that they turned more and more to porn after a break-up or during a period of no sexual activity, and sought other outlets. Alcohol and drug use has been cited as one of the more common outlets.

Of course, in our setting in a mental institution, there are also contributory situations of a patient going off medication or otherwise decompensating, leading to offense-related behavior. Stress and other situations can be explored, patterns noted and, thus, risk factors identified. Even in cases in which the offense is denied, the patient is often able to see what situations set up as being more risk-related scenarios — and thus their vulnerabilities. Risk mitigation can then be effected on some level by addressing the vulnerabilities through appropriate interventions.

This same approach would be viable in couples counseling, family counseling and other similar forms of counseling. In short, we can examine environmental and other issues that trigger emotions, thoughts and consequential behavior in our clients. This approach relates to a form of mindfulness in which clients can step away and look at external influences, perhaps setting aside blame and personalized issues in the process.

 

Ethical issues

While considering the reasons for denial, and strategies to achieve some outcome, the topic is not without some ethical issues. The preamble of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics reads in part:

“These professional values provide a conceptual basis for the ethical principles enumerated below. These principles are the foundation for ethical behavior and decision making. The fundamental principles of professional ethical behavior are

autonomy, or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life;

nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm;

beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being;

justice, or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality;

fidelity, or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships; and

veracity, or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact.”

In attempts to deal with denial, are there iatrogenic factors present in our demand for disclosure that would constitute maleficence? And where do we stand, and how would we know, if the person indeed did not commit an offense? If, in our cases, a denier passes a polygraph, does that carry any weight, notwithstanding admissibility (or not) in court, police reports or other materials?

Would it be ethical to “treat” someone for something they did not do; or do we treat based upon all the other findings, regardless of the client’s adamant stance? Are we out of our scope of practice if drawn into the legal questions? We must be mindful of these ACA ethics standards:

 

B.1.b. Respect for Privacy

Counselors respect the privacy of prospective and current clients. Counselors request private information from clients only when it is beneficial to the counseling process.

 

B.1.c. Respect for Confidentiality

Counselors protect the confidential information of prospective and current clients. Counselors disclose information only with appropriate consent or with sound legal or ethical justification.

 

B.2.e. Minimal Disclosure

To the extent possible, clients are informed before confidential information is disclosed and are involved in the disclosure decision-making process. When circumstances require the disclosure of confidential information, only essential information is revealed.

 

These questions may all lead to what boundaries we draw regarding working with denial. It is likely an easier decision when there is no denial of fact, but rather the more often expected “lesser” denials. Yet, as in all cases, we must consider potential iatrogenic effects. When we consider how very much we detest denial in our society, and yet forgive confession, it behooves us to explore our goal as counselors when denial is a key factor.

We might want to examine whether our goal is an outcome we can achieve by other means, or whether we are so outraged at the “lies” that we become committed to “breaking” someone.

 

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Michael Hubbard is a mental health specialist with the sex offender treatment program at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Ore. Contact him at Michael.Hubbard@state.or.us.

 

For related reading, see Hubbard’s article from the April 2014 issue of Counseling Today: Sex offender therapy: A battle on multiple fronts

 

CT Online wins Grand Award in APEX Competition

July 2, 2014

CT Online was the recipient of a Grand Award in the category of best websites in APEX 2014, the 26th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition. Out of nearly 2,100 entries across 11 main categories, only 100 entries total received the Grand Award designation, the highest recognition that the APEX judges could present.

The judges posted the following comments for CT Online, the companion website for Counseling Today:

“Clean, crisp visuals ‘front’ a very thoughtfully organized site, with excellent navigation and a Branding-Box-APEXvery readable, visually appealing format. Content is tightly written, very topical and quite interesting, even for a lay audience. Overall, a well-researched, well-written and well-presented site.”

In past years, Apex winners in the website category have included the U.S. Navy, NASA, ESPN, Colorado State University and Catholic Charities USA.

In addition to the Grand Award for CT Online, Counseling Today received an Award of Excellence in the category of best print magazines, journals and tabloids over 32 pages, which takes into account the quality of the design, writing and content across an entire issue. Counseling Today won the award for its January 2014 issue, which featured a compilation of counselors’ “turning points” as the cover story.

Counseling Today and CT Online have now won 33 awards in various publications and communications contests since 2005.

The APEX Awards for Publications Excellence is an annual competition for publishers, editors, writers and designers who create print, web, electronic and social media. The competition is sponsored by Communications Concepts.

Published since 1958, Counseling Today is the monthly magazine of the American Counseling Association.

 

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