Ken Oliver

Ken Oliver

Kenneth Oliver is a counselor in Missouri and an assistant professor at Quincy University in Illinois.

  • Trayvon Martin: The Meta-Story

    Apr 16, 2012
    Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, you’ve undoubtedly been inundated with some form of media coverage about the Trayvon Martin shooting. Please allow me to take a minute to indulge my compulsion to write about this case and the underlying connection to professional counseling practice. Now, while I want to serve in the role of promoting the provocative by discussing the utility of hooded sweatshirts, skittles, and iced tea, I’ll refrain. While I want to debate with you the inappropriateness of utilizing “Stand Your Ground” statutes in this case, I simply won’t. Instead, I’m going to try to sell you on the premise that George Zimmerman, the shooter, was conditioned to think about the young, black male in the same manner that you have. Yes, YOU!
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  • Online Counseling Degrees

    Nov 10, 2010
    Let me start this web log entry by stating that “I am NOT a traditionalist!” I’m still fairly young. Though my rapidly receding hairline, and that stubborn gray hair below my right ear may have you believing otherwise. I don’t believe in the curative properties of nostalgia nor do I yearn for a return to the “good old days” of counseling. In fact, in many respects, I think the counseling profession has been rather slow to adapt to the ever-changing world. This does not seem to be the case, however, with online counseling degree programs. The profession seems to be fairly progressive in its willingness to embrace the online counseling degree as a valid, effective means of counselor preparation. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a second to explore my conclusion.
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  • Et Tu Dr. Laura?

    Aug 30, 2010
    There’s no doubt that many of you have heard about Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s unfortunate rant in which she repeatedly used racial epithets while interacting with a caller. Dr. Laura, the infamous talk-radio personality, subsequently issued an apology for using the word. Her apology, which was viewed suspiciously by many, was followed by a defiant touting of her First Amendment right to free speech and an announcement that she would be ending her longstanding radio show—well, at least in its current format. Barring the fact that the First Amendment has nothing to do with this case (i.e., since the government did nothing to silence the radio host), and that Dr. Laura seemed to have her own agenda with the N-word, and that her PhD is in Physiology, I don’t really have a problem with her. Wait, wait… let me explain why.
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  • The Legitimacy of Counseling

    Apr 21, 2010
    What is the etiology of the psychological distress we purport to treat? Some of you keen counseling philosophers have already become suspicious of my question, so I’ll ask it again in its most common form! What is the cause of mental “illness”? Now, if you’re feeling that sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach, don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to examine your own philosophy regarding the nature versus nurture debate. I wouldn’t do that to you. Instead, my question intends to go beyond, at least professionally, the nature/nurture debate to explore how the counseling profession benefits from the controversy surrounding the cause of issues that bring people to our care. My task hereafter is to convince you that the counseling profession gains legitimacy as a result of the quest to find a biological etiology for mental illness.
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  • Professional Identity

    Jan 13, 2010
    What does the term “counselor” mean to you? I don’t mean the technical or conceptual definition, but rather the connotation evoked when you hear the term. For some of you, hearing the term produces visions of helpers. For some, you may remember a guidance counselor from school or a mental health therapist that worked with you or someone you know. Now, for all of you social constructivists and phenomenologists who believe that connotative meaning ultimately overrules that which is demonstrative, you may want to stop reading here…
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