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.
Competent Bibliotherapy: Preparing Counselors To Use Literature With Culturally Diverse Clients
Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson and Paula McMillen
A mutual interest in helping graduate counseling students to effectively use books as an adjunct in therapy initiated a collaboration between the coauthors that began in 1999 and has since expanded in focus. Bibliotherapy, facilitating personal development or problem resolution through books, is utilized in many helping professions; however, we found little in the literature regarding the preparation of emerging counselors for theoretically grounded, ethical use of this approach. Based on our own areas of expertise and an extensive literature review, we identified the essential criteria articulated by practitioners for evaluating materials to be used in counseling settings. Subsequently, we developed a tool that systematically walks the practitioner through the process for evaluating literature for potential use with a client. The evaluation tool became the core of the Bibliotherapy Education Project, which now includes a teaching module, a gateway to print and electronic resources on Bibliotherapy, and sponsorship of student research projects. In addition, the book evaluations, completed using our tool, are now available in a searchable database on our website.