ACA Blog

  • Jill Presnell

    The Inpatient Therapist: The “Drug Seekers” (Reactive disengagement Part 2)

    • Jill Presnell
    Sep 24, 2012
    I work on an Acute Inpatient Mental Health unit. We provide mental health treatment, not drug and alcohol treatment yet we keep getting folks who are addicted to illegal or prescription drugs. Individuals who are violent and psychotic from using bath salts get dragged to the ER by police and then are dumped on us. Addicts trying to escape going to jail come to the unit claiming that they are depressed and suicidal. People with “chronic pain" whose doctors won’t give them anymore pain meds or who have used up their script early suddenly claim that they feel hopeless or depressed and “can’t take it anymore.” They know that when they’re admitted they will be given more pain meds. Once these people get on the floor, they spend the whole time arguing and drug seeking. If they come to groups, they blame everyone else for their problems and don’t take responsibility for anything. They act like teenagers.
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  • Deb Del Vecchio-Scully

    A Journey of Hope & Healing

    • Deb Del Vecchio-Scully
    Sep 24, 2012
    I have spent my entire career counseling people struggling with medical issues including cancer, cardiac disease, neurological disorders and chronic pain. Thus, I am very familiar with the challenges of life-threatening and chronic illness on the mind, the body and the spirit. I was quite inspired this week by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, whom on the eve of undergoing a Bone Marrow Transplant uttered these words:
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  • Haylee Wilson

    Transference and countertransference

    • Haylee Wilson
    Sep 24, 2012
    Transference and countertransference. As an undergraduate in psychology I had no idea what either of these words meant. Now, these words, and many others, are a part of my everyday vocabulary. Our professors remind us in each class each semester to be mindful of transference and countertransference, to realize its benefits and mostly its disadvantages. Addressing our personal issues before we begin practicing is often encouraged in order to avoid a potentially negative situation involving transference. One professor even went as far as to share with the class his own experiences with counseling after the death of his wife. Having only known this man for maybe one or two weeks, I thought he was very brave to share his story with us. While we are all counselors-in-training, it is still unnerving to share your history with a group of strangers.
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  • Anderson Antoine

    Personal Identity Issues

    • Anderson Antoine
    Sep 24, 2012
    I have been counseling persons who seem to be experiencing identity crises. This situation forced me to raise questions pertaining to Erik Erikson’s and other philosophies of identity, and psychological developmental issues. One may ask oneself questions relating to the many adults, who, through certain experiences or exposures were capable of rediscovering themselves and establishing a different understanding of themselves as well as who they want to be. It seems that I have a powerful leaning towards the level of stimulation for development provided by the environment in which one develops. Let us not forget that ‘all behaviours are learnt’.
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  • Kristen Eckhardt

    Planting Good Seeds

    • Kristen Eckhardt
    Sep 24, 2012
    I realize last week’s post sounded pretty down, and in truth, that’s absolutely how I felt. Sometimes, life feels like one step forward and one step back. If you read my post anyway, thank you--maybe you’ve been there before or are going through something similar. But there’s a much, much happier ending to this week!
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  • Sandi Logan

    A Professional School Counselor's Dilemma

    • Sandi Logan
    Sep 19, 2012
    What do you do when you enter a position as a professional school counselor with no job description, job evaluation, or head counselor supervision? You develop the program to be what you want it to be. Well, what I wanted was a comprehensive school counseling program at a small K-8 school district in Southern California. I began my mission by emphasizing to administration the importance of acknowledging the three domains of our work, as addressed in ASCA’s national standards: Academic, Career, and Personal/Social. Quickly into my first year, I realized how important it was for others to truly understand what the role of a school counselor is. So, I attended staff meetings and provided updates as to what issues I was noticing were prevalent in my office. One by one, I entered classrooms to introduce myself to staff members and attempt to make a personal connection with each educator, as well as with the front office staff.
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  • Lee Kehoe

    The Implications of Growing Old: A Model of Later Life Challenges

    • Lee Kehoe
    Sep 19, 2012
    In focusing on counseling the older adult population, I may bring up the word personhood in many of my blogs. The concept of personhood has grown to be near to my heart and forever evolving as I grow as a counselor working with older adults. My exploration of personhood was the focus of my master’s thesis, and the model of the development of personhood and the loss of personhood in old age that I present later in this blog is what came from my thesis work.
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  • Brooke Collison

    A Counselor Educator in Kenya—Blog Entry #8: New Surprises

    • Brooke Collison
    Sep 18, 2012
    I came to Kenya as a volunteer faculty member here at Kenya Methodist University. I told the chair that I’d do anything they wanted me to do, that I just wanted to be helpful in any way I could. I agreed to “fit in” as best I could. I think I have, but there have been some surprises:
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  • Barbara Jordan

    Remember Where You Came From and How You Got Here

    • Barbara Jordan
    Sep 18, 2012
    Recently, an organization I work with experienced tremendous rapid business growth. Along with the typical “growing pains”, employees were over-extended because programs were under-staffed. Therefore, I stepped in to help counselors. Now, realize this: as a supervisor and counselor educator, it had been years since I was “in the trenches”. So you can imagine my surprise. Wow, was that an eye-opening experience! The most painful part of it was struggling with the record-keeping and paperwork. But, of course, as any great leader handles difficult times, I asked myself what I could learn from the experience. Supervisors: What can you learn from doing your counselors’ work?
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  • Pam Ebert

    The Autumn of Mental Wellness

    • Pam Ebert
    Sep 18, 2012
    You have all heard about the Arab Spring, right, and how revolution started with the people and spread to other countries? Well, this Appalachian girl is calling for a revolution in how we view mental health. Why it is that in 2012 we still can’t quite talk openly about mental illness and people still think “crazy” is an official term for a person who lives with or suffers from a mental or emotional disorder? Maybe this Fall could be the one that makes the difference, the turn of the tides for those of us who live with mental illness.
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