VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Evaluating a Self-Developed Physical Wellness Self-Care Plan
Darren A. Wozny and Tonya Evans
Counseling is an emotionally demanding field that requires that counselors engage in effective self-care practices to lessen the risk of counselor distress, burnout, and impairment. Although there are several different types of self-care (physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual), this project starts with the very pragmatic physical type of self-care. The research question asks "can a practicing counselor demonstrate the effectiveness of self-developed physical wellness plans (exercise and nutritional plans), through reduction in body weight, resting heart rate, and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)?" The single subject participant monitored her dependent variables daily for 41 days during baseline (phase A), then engaged in her self-developed exercise plan (utilized an online exercise wellness module based on the American College of Sports Medicine, 2006, guidelines for exercise prescription) for 28 days (phase B), then did a combination of her exercise plan with her self-developed nutritional plan (utilized an online nutritional module that contained a nutritional tracker - www.choosemyplate.gov) for an additional 28 days (phase C). The results indicated that the participant lost 12 pounds during the project, and increased her heart efficiency by 11.0% (decreased her resting heart rate from 82 to 73 beats per minute). The participant's blood pressure was in an optimal range during baseline and did not change significantly during the study.