ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice and Community Agency Counselors | Volume III | Number 3

Mental Illness Knowledge Leads to People Seeking Help

In this edition readers will find:

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ACA blogs, written by
counselors, for counselors:

Regrets May Shape Judgment, Behavior, and Mental Health

Readers old enough to remember "My Way," popularized by Frank Sinatra will recall a line in the ballad that goes: "Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention." When a representative sample 400 Americans were asked in a telephone survey what they regretted, they opened up to researchers Neal Roese (Northwestern University) and Mike Morrison (University of Illinois) with a host of things they would do differently or just do if they had the opportunity.

RegretsOur regrets, according to the researchers, may shape judgment, behavior, and mental health, and understanding how regrets connect to life circum-
stances can be valuable. To the right are the six most frequently cited regrets and the percentages.

The research found the regrets change with the age. Earlier in adult life, people tend to regret the things they have done and later it shifts to things they omitted or failed to do.

Social Psychological and Personality Science Article...

Mental Illness Knowledge Leads to People Seeking Help

According to researchers in the United Kingdom, the more one knows about mental illness, the more likely they are to seek assistance when personally confronting a mental health issue. Respondents with a better understanding were also found to be more tolerant of people with mental illness and supportive of services being provided in the community, as opposed to institutions. Women and older persons expressed higher tolerance levels and support for the mentally ill. Story...

Office Environment Found to Influence Perceptions of the Counselor Working There

Office EnvironmentAmbience is often used to evaluate restaurants, but is it possible that a counselor might be judged by the office environment they create to serve their clients? Yes, according to a study reported in the July edition of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and the subject of a story. Orderly and neat offices that displayed diplomas, certificates, and framed photos and were decorated with throw rugs, pillows, and other light, personal touches were found to impact the perception of the counselor by students using campus-based counseling centers.

Study participants stated they were more comfortable and anticipated better care in orderly settings that were accentuated with professional and personal touches. An abstract of the article can be viewed at the following link. The full article can be purchased.

Journal of Counseling Psychology Abstract...

Science Daily Story...

ACA Names Ethics Revision Task Force

Immediate ACA past president Marcheta Evans has selected 11 member experts in counseling ethics to serve on the ACA Ethics Revision Task Force that will promulgate the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Current president Don W. Locke will see the committee through the phases of their work that occur during his tenure.

The task force will work together over the next three years to revise the code that provides the basis for ethical behavior for ACA members and serves as an important resource for the counseling profession. While the full task force represents the broad spectrum of counseling settings and professional roles, six individuals have direct experiences in mental health, private practice and community agency settings. They are:

  • Jeannette Baca
  • Shannon Hodges
  • Linda Shaw
  • Shawn Spurgeon
  • Richard Watts
  • Michelle Wade (student member)

View Member Bios...

New ACA Books On Effective Interventions for Working with Children

Two new books from the ACA Bookstore can aid mental health, private practice and community agency counselors in their work with children and youth.

Counseling Children: A Core Issues Approach
Richard W. Halstead, Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, and Jodi Ann Mullen

Counseling ChildrenThis innovative book offers a means for practitioners in community, mental health, and school settings to better assess, treat, and monitor children's underlying issues. The diagnostic framework presented condenses what is known about best practices in counseling children, helps uncover the nature of children's core concerns and how to address the issues they are struggling with, and challenges counselors to move beyond the DSM. Part I provides an orientation to the core issues approach and how to conceptualize the nature of clients' presenting concerns. Part II describes intervention strategies for work with children, including narrative approaches, play therapy, sand tray therapy, and expressive arts therapy. The final chapter gives suggestions for bringing parents, teachers, and other professionals together as a collaborative team.

2011 | 192 pgs
Order #72901
ISBN 978-1-55620-283-4
List Price: $29.95
ACA Member Price: $24.95

Order Today...

Play Therapy: Basics and Beyond, Second Edition
Terry Kottman

Play TherapyThis extraordinarily practical text provides a detailed examination of basic and advanced play therapy concepts and skills and guidance on when and how to use them. Kottman's multitheoretical approach and wealth of explicit techniques are helpful for clinicians who want to gain greater insight into children's minds and enhance therapeutic communication through the power of play.

After a discussion of the basic concepts and logistical aspects of play therapy, Kottman illustrates commonly used play therapy skills and more advanced skills. Introduced in this edition is a new chapter on working with parents and teachers to increase the effectiveness of play therapy. Practice exercises and "Questions to Ponder" throughout the text facilitate the skill-building and self-examination process.

2011 | 375 pgs
Order #72905
ISBN 978-1-55620-305-3
List Price: $54.95
ACA Member Price: $39.95

Order Today...

In the News: Wealthiest Nations Have Highest Rates of Depression

International researchers, using interview data of nearly 90,000 people considered representative of their national population, have found people in wealthier countries experienced higher rates of depression than that found in poorer nations. In the 10 countries considered high-income, an average of 15% of those interviewed said they'd experienced a depressive episode at some point in their lifetime. In lower-income countries, the rate was 11%. The U.S., France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand all had rates higher than 18%.

LA Times Article...

Study Indicates Half of College Veterans Contemplated Suicide, 20% Planned It

Findings presented at the recent meeting of the American Psychological Association indicate that college students who are military veterans are more likely to have contemplated suicide than the general undergraduate population. M. David Rudd of the University of Utah's National Center for Veteran's Studies also found that 20% of student veterans had actually planned their suicide.

This represents a substantial increase over American College Health Association / National College Health Assessment 2010 data for college students in general, which revealed 6% of college students reported seriously considering suicide and 1.3% reported a suicide attempt.

University of Utah Research Brief...

Quotable Quotes of Notable People: HHS Secretary on the Prevention of Mental Illness

Kathleen Sebelius"Another idea that we need to borrow from our work to improve our physical healthcare system is investing in prevention. We know from the latest research that half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14. Three fourths begin by age 24. We also have decades of research showing that the most cost-effective mental health interventions are the ones that prevent or delay the onset of mental illnesses."

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, in a speech in Towson, MD

Relevant Research: SAMHSA Report Ties Mental Illness and Alcohol Dependence

A new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) spotlight report, Alcohol Dependence is More Likely among Adults with Mental Illness than Adults without Mental Illness, finds that adults who suffer with mental illness are four times more prone to alcohol dependence compared to those without such conditions. Based on a 2009 nationwide survey, the report found that nearly 10% of adults diagnosed with a mental illness were also alcohol-dependent, compared to just 2.2% of those without such issues.

SAMHSA News Release...

Full Report...

Centore Assumes Private Practice Pointers Role

Play TherapyACA is now partnering with Anthony Centore to extend the series of Private Practice Pointers information pieces on Asked his perspective on the role of counselors in private practice and the challenges they face, the popular ACA blogger stated: "Counseling is not just for people who are hurting; it's an asset to help clients live exciting, fulfilling, successful lives. To succeed in today's marketplace, counseling practices need to be warm, positive places where value is delivered in every appointment and customer service is paramount to great client care." The information pieces are posted here

Two ACA blog entries by Dr. Centore offer samples of the style and substance of his messages. Read "5 Reasons Why Medical Credentialing Software is Useless for Most Health Practices" and "Building a Six-Figure Counseling Practice: How Much Can a Master's Level Counselor Make?"

National Guard Finds Women in Combat More PTSD Vulnerable, Less Likely to Get Treatment

A National Guard study of personnel assigned to the Iraq and Afghanistan combat zones has found women to be more likely than men to meet the criteria for PTSD following deployment. The study of 922 National Guard members, including 91 women, revealed 19% of women experienced PTSD compared to 8.7% of men. No significant differences were found in the combat exposure of women and men. A recent LA Times story stated that women PTSD sufferers were experiencing more difficulty qualifying for treatment than their male comrades.

LA Times Story...

US Army Wants LPCs for SAP: Immediate Job Openings

On July 26, 2011, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh signed Army Directive 2011-09, Employment of Licensed Professional Counselors as Fully Functioning Army Substance Abuse Program Practitioners. This directive authorizes "the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) to employ licensed professional counselors and licensed mental health counselors as independent practitioners with a well-defined scope of practice."

The directive also establishes credentialing and privileging standards for licensed counselors who seek employment through ASAP.

You may recall that the Department of Defense had been charged by Congress with issuing regulations by June 20, 2011 to let LPCs practice independently within the TRICARE program. We have been told that the Army SAP directive is a temporary policy that allows counselors to practice independently until the TRICARE regulations are completed. The final TRICARE regulations may–or may not–include the same requirements as the Army SAP directive. ACA, NBCC, and AMHCA continue to urge the Department of Defense to adopt broad TRICARE regulations that recognize all qualified professional counselors.

Qualifying counselors who are interested in Army SAP positions should act quickly. The Army is in dire need of more counselors and recently launched a national hiring initiative described here.

Vacancies are posted here. Although this webpage and the job announcements specifically reference social workers and psychologists, we have confirmed with Army SAP leadership that these positions are available to professional counselors.

Read Full Article...

Summer JCD: Focus on Counseling Research and Publishing

JCDDon't miss the opportunity to review the special section on counseling research and publishing contained in the summer edition of the Journal of Counseling & Development that landed in your mail box recently. Volume 89, Number 3 of the JCD includes the following articles:

  • Introduction to the Special Section by Brandon Hunt & Jerry Trusty, Guest Editors
  • Quantitative Articles: Developing Studies for Publication in Counseling Journals by Jerry Trusty
  • Evaluating and Reporting Statistical Power in Counseling Research by Richard S. Balkin & Carl J. Sheperis
  • Meta-Analysis: A Systematic Method for Synthesizing Counseling Research by Susan C. Whiston & Peiwei Li
  • Publishing Action Research in Counseling Journals by Douglas A. Guiffrida, Kathryn Z. Douthit, Martin F. Lynch, & Karen L. Mackie
  • Infusing Qualitative Traditions in Counseling Research Designs by Danica G. Hays & Chris Wood
  • Publishing Qualitative Research in Counseling Journals by Brandon Hunt
  • Publishing Ethical Research: A Step-by-Step Overview by Kelly L. Wester
  • Developing a Conceptual Article for Publication in Counseling Journals by Richard E. Watts
  • Publishing International Counseling Articles by Thomas H. Hohenshil & Norman E. Amundson
  • Research in Counseling: A 10-Year Review to Inform Practice by Dee C. Ray, Darrell M. Hull, Andi J. Thacker, Laura S. Pace, Karrie L. Swan, Sarah E. Carlson, & Jeffrey M. Sullivan
  • A Vision for the Future of Counseling: The 20/20 Principles for Unifying and Strengthening the Profession by David M. Kaplan & Samuel T. Gladding

Note: The above is a partial list of the articles contained in the JCD Summer Edition.

What Would You Like to See in Future Issues?

What would you like to see?What practice and professional questions keep you awake at night? What information would save you time? Provide inspiration or pleasant reading? Do you like reading personal profiles of your peers? Let us hear from you so we can make your enewsletter as valuable and helpful as possible. Simply email the editor at any time with your thoughts:

About ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice, and Community Agency Counselors

ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice, and Community Agency Counselors is one of four electronic newsletters that are published three times per year each by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members working in these unique settings. It is disseminated as an opt-in subscription enewsletter and is a free benefit of ACA membership.

The other three special focus enewsletters are:

  • ACAeNews for School Counselors
  • ACAeNews for Counselor Educators
  • ACAeNews for Counseling Students and New Professionals

Past editions can be found at

Any reference to a product, service or activity or listing of a website in this publication does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.

Direct comments, questions and submissions to Frank Burtnett. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance to the readership and may be edited.

Don W. Locke, President

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications

Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production

ACA Website:

Copyright 2011, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703-823-9800. Email: Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.


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