Counseling Resources to Handle Violence and Threats 

Resources from Counseling Today

Counselor addresses self-care, guilt in the wake of Orlando shooting 7/5/2016

Charleston, counseling and our clients 10/8/2015

Group process from a diversity lens: Breaking the silence 6/24/2014

Group process from a diversity lens: This workshop is police bashing! 7/23/2014

Race talk and facilitating difficult racial dialogues 12/22/2015

Raising counselors’ awareness of microaggressions 6/1/2016

Revisiting Ferguson 11/17/2015

Storytelling and hope in Ferguson 11/17/2014

Stumbling blocks to counselor self-care 2/23/2015

Resources from ACA Journals

Addressing clients’ experiences of racism: A model for clinical practice.
Malott, K. M., & Schaefle, S. (2015).  Journal of Counseling & Development, 93, 361–369. doi:10.1002/jcad.12034

This article synthesizes the literature relevant to coping with racism to provide a 4-stage model for addressing clients' discriminatory experiences. Major suggestions drawn from the literature include applying frameworks with a contextual lens, using broaching and eliciting skills to promote client exploration of racism and the effects of racism on persons of color, enhancing client racial and ethnic identities, and tailoring interventions to the clients' culture and preferred coping strategies.

Assessing Violence Risk: A Review and Clinical Recommendations.
Haggård-Grann, Ulrika (2007). Journal of Counseling & Development

Guidance to identify and manage clients with a perceived high risk for future violence is of great importance for mental health professionals. In the past decade, several structured instruments have been developed to assess risk of future violence. Awareness of the limits and abilities of such instruments is required. This article reviews the most well-known risk assessment tools and provides recommendations for how to approach the area of violence risk assessment.

Coping with Vicarious Trauma in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster.
Smith, L. E., Bernal, D. R., Schwartz, B. S., Whitt, C. L., Christman, S. T., Donnelly, S., Kobetz, E. (2014).  Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 42(1), 2-12. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1912.2014.00040.x       

This study documents the vicarious psychological impact of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti on Haitians living in the United States. The role of coping resources—family, religious, and community support—was explored. The results highlight the importance of family and community as coping strategies to manage such trauma.

The Effectiveness of Individual Wellness Counseling on the Wellness of Law Enforcement Officers.
Smith, L. E., Bernal, D. R., Schwartz, B. S., Whitt, C. L., Christman, S. T., Donnelly, S., Kobetz, E. (2014). Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 42(1), 2-12. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1912.2014.00040.x

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the effectiveness of wellness counseling on increasing wellness among law enforcement officers. The study also examined whether position in the Transtheoretical Model (J. O. Prochaska & C. C. DiClemente, 1982) and self-efficacy influenced the effectiveness of counseling on wellness. These findings indicate that counseling may increase wellness among law enforcement officers.

The impact of racial microaggressions on mental health: Counseling implications for clients of color.
Nadal, K. L., Griffin, K. E., Wong, Y., Hamit, S., & Rasmus, M. (2014).  Journal of Counseling & Development, 92, 57–66. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00130.x

This study examined the relationship between racial microaggressions (subtle and unintentional forms of racial discrimination) and mental health. Results from a large sample (N = 506) indicated that higher frequencies of racial microaggressions negatively predicted participants' mental health and that racial microaggressions were significantly correlated with depressive symptoms and negative affect. Differences in the types of microaggressions experienced by various racial groups (Asian, Latina/o, Black, White, and multiracial) and counseling implications are discussed.

Multicultural counseling beyond the relationship: Expanding the repertoire with techniques.

Hanna, F. J., & Cardona, B. (2013).
Journal of Counseling & Development, 91, 349–357. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2013.00104.x

Multicultural counseling approaches variously focus on the counseling relationship. Relatively few discuss clinical techniques and strategies to any significant extent. This article explores enhancing multicultural counseling by offering an array of techniques and strategies based on addressing oppression and increasing psychological freedom. Techniques offered seek to internally free a person cognitively, affectively, and systemically using the Precursors Model of Change (Hanna, 2002). The goal is to help set a person free from oppressive, discriminatory systems and individuals.

Multicultural Counseling Competencies as tools to address oppression and racism.
Arredondo, P. (1999).  Journal of Counseling & Development, 77, 102–108. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1999.tb02427.x

The Multicultural Counseling Competencies (Arredondo et al., 1996; Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992) provide developmental and evaluative guidelines for enhancing counselor education and practice. A reason for the articulation of the competencies was the need to address racism and other forms of interpersonal and institutional oppression in the profession. The Dimensions of Personal Identity Model is discussed as a reference point to recognize various personal criteria that are often the focal point of discriminatory behavior. Specific competencies and explanatory statements provide checkpoints that address racism and other forms of oppression that are part of the human experience, but more particularly so for people of color in the United States.

Preparation, Action, Recovery: A Conceptual Framework for Counselor Preparation and Response in Client Crises.
Iii, C. R., & Keener, H. J. (2008). Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(4), 388-398. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2008.tb00526.x

Despite increasing requirements for counselor proficiency in crisis response, there is an absence in the standards for counselor preparation, certification, and supervision of consistent criteria on which best practice in crisis prevention and intervention, and postcrisis recovery can be gauged. The authors present a conceptual framework that defines the actions required at the different phases of a client crisis and identifies potential constraints to effective counselor action that must be acknowledged and overcome at each phase.

Racial Microaggressions Against Black Americans: Implications for Counseling.
Sue, D. W., Nadal, K. L., Capodilupo, C. M., Lin, A. I., Torino, G. C., & Rivera, D. P. (2008). Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(3), 330-338. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2008.tb00517.x

Racial microaggression themes were identified using a focus-group analysis of self-identified Black participants. Six categories of demeaning and invalidating messages reflected beliefs of White supremacy that were unintentionally conveyed by perpetrators. Implications for counselors and the counseling process are discussed.

Resilience of professional counselors following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Lambert, S. F., & Lawson, G. (2013). 
Journal of Counseling & Development, 91, 261–268. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2013.00094.x

Professional counselors who provided services to those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita completed the K6+ (screen for severe mental illness), the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, and the Professional Quality of Life Scale. Results indicated that participants who survived the hurricanes had higher levels of posttraumatic growth than participants who served as volunteers. Both volunteer and survivor-volunteer participants were susceptible to compassion fatigue. To further resiliency, self-care strategies were found to minimize burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization.

Supervision Experiences of Professional Counselors Providing Crisis Counseling.
Dupre, M., Echterling, L. G., Meixner, C., Anderson, R., & Kielty, M. (2014).  Counselor Education and Supervision, 53(2), 82-96. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6978.2014.00050.x

In this phenomenological study, the authors explored supervision experiences of 13 licensed professional counselors in situations requiring crisis counseling. Five themes concerning crisis and supervision were identified from individual interviews. Findings support intensive, immediate crisis supervision and postlicensure clinical supervision.

Vicarious Traumatization, Trauma-Sensitive Supervision, and Counselor Preparation.

Sommer, C. A. (2008).  
Counselor Education and Supervision, 48(1), 61-71. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6978.2008.tb00062.x

Counselor educators have an ethical responsibility to prepare counselors and supervisors to detect and resolve vicarious traumatization in themselves and their supervisees. This article reviews relevant literature on vicarious traumatization and strategies to mitigate it. Also included is a review of the American Counseling Association's (2005) ACA Code of Ethics and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs' (2007) proposed 2009 standards as each relates to trauma counseling and vicarious traumatization. Specific counselor preparation practices are suggested.

ACA Books

Harm to OthersHarm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness
Brian Van Brunt

Harm to Others offers students and clinicians an effective way to increase their knowledge of and training in violence risk and threat assessment, and it also provides a comprehensive examination of current treatment approaches. Dr. Van Brunt shares his observations, extensive clinical expertise, and the latest research on what clinicians should be aware of when performing risk and threat assessments. In addition, he offers numerous examples from recent mass shootings and rampage violence to help explain the motivations and risk factors of those who make threats. Two detailed case examples are presented to illustrate key concepts related to assessing dangerousness. Treatment options are then described, using a variety of diverse case studies to demonstrate concrete approaches for clients who have been identified as at risk for violence following a threat assessment.