Submission guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for the Counseling Today. From reading our content, you know that our articles cover a variety of issues related to all aspects of clinical work, research and practice. Please note that Counseling Today is not the appropriate place to submit academic research papers or theses. Instead, we’re interested in your personal stories as a clinician and articles that offer practical information counselors can use in everyday practice with their clients or in their own professional/personal development. Note: We do not pay for submissions we print.

We’re especially interested in submissions for the following departments:

Case Study

Case Study articles are 500-1,000 words and are written in a narrative/storytelling style to describe a single clinical case that illustrates work around a specific issue or therapeutic challenge (such as helping a client on the autism spectrum develop social skills, using EMDR to help a client process traumatic loss, or recognizing when you are too emotionally invested in a client). The case study will focus on working with a single client/family/couple and will serve as an example of the challenges and techniques involved in using a certain approach and thinking through the clinical issue or challenge.  Your case study should:

  • Establish the clinical challenge or problem. In the first few paragraphs, introduce the clinical challenge (i.e., the problem this case study presents). Think about the main 1-2 main points you want to communicate about this problem or case. Remember, this is a short article, so you won’t be able to cover all aspects — just focus on the main one or two you want to discuss.
  • Describe (using a narrative style) the clinical approach used with this client. Paint a clear picture of using the clinical approach with the client. Incorporate descriptive dialogue that occurs between the hypothetical client and counselor. Describe the client’s body language or other details about the therapeutic space. Note any challenges or surprises that happen during this session and how you handled these. The goal is to illustrate your own learning journey as a counselor.
  • Conclude by reflecting on what you learned or what the outcome means for the client or other mental health professionals. Avoid ending by summarizing the case. Instead, end by reflecting on what you learned during the process, discussing the outcome of using this approach, or exploring how the case challenges conventional notions of how to work with this mental health issue or population.

Knowledge Share

Knowledge Share articles are written by presenters of education and poster sessions at ACA conferences. This article is 1,000-1,500 words in length and presents the information in a practical, informative way for our readers. You can submit a 50-250 word abstract of your presentation or an article draft for us to consider.

My Counseling Journey 

Do you have an interesting career journey or personal story to share? The My Counseling Journey article highlights ACA members’ personal journeys into counseling and the professional work they do. This 500-word article focuses on a particular aspect of your work, career and life, and using a narrative format, answers the question, “How did I get here?” You can submit a brief 50-word proposal of your story or a draft of the article for us to consider.

Career Consultation

Do you have a career-related question that you want answered? Send it to us and you might be featured in an upcoming Career Consultation article.

Group Consultation

Do you have a question about clinical practice, a “hot” topic in the field, or anything else you want answered about the profession? Send it our way and we may include the question in the Group Consultation department.

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How do I submit an article?

Please email submissions to ct@counseling.org and include a brief 1-3 sentence author bio. Make sure your article falls within our word guidelines of 500-1,500 words (depending on the department). 

When will I hear back from you?

Due to the volume of submissions we receive, it may take us between 10 and 12 weeks to review your article and contact you if we are interested. If you don’t hear from us after 12 weeks, please assume that we won’t be able to use your work. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide feedback on articles we are not able to use. If the article is accepted, the editing process usually requires one to two revisions.

Who is our audience?

We write articles for mental health professionals (e.g., licensed counselors, counselor educators, social workers, psychologists) and those interested in learning more about mental health (i.e., the public). When you write, assume that your reader is either a knowledgeable peer or a future client. Practical advice comes from real experience as well as well-researched ideas.

What’s our style?

When submitting an article, follow these writing guidelines:

  • Use a clear, concise, engaging, and accessible style that’s free of jargon.
  • If referring to research findings, explain their significance in plain terms. We do not publish footnotes, citations or reference lists. Include any attribution within the natural flow of the article.
  • Write in a voice and style you would use if you are having a conversation with a close colleague about the topic.
  • Only submit original work written for Counseling Today, not something published elsewhere (including blogs or social media).
  • Please read through as many examples of our content as possible to get a sense of the kind of writing we publish prior to submitting your article.

Counseling Today articles adhere to the Associated Press style (article authors do not need to be familiar with this style to submit an article but understand that articles accepted for publication will be edited to conform to Associated Press style).

Questions to consider before submitting:

  • Why are you writing about this topic? Is it thoughtful and intellectually engaging?
  • How does this particular way of thinking about a specific topic make it fresh or relevant?
  • How will this article help my colleagues? What advice or new information does it offer them?
  • Will it touch the reader emotionally?
  • What’s distinctive about my piece?
  • What action do I want readers to take because of reading my article? What information, tips or insights did I provide to help them accomplish that action?

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For additional questions regarding submitting articles to Counseling Today, email us at ct@counseling.org.

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