Description Discussion 1 Qunique W RE: Journal Article Dr. McKinney and clas …

Description Discussion 1 Qunique W RE: Journal Article Dr. McKinney and class, I came across an article that discussed how cognitive interventions can be utilized during group supervision to address anxiety experienced by practicum students. Bernard & Goodyear (1992) stated that many first-year practicum students report having fears and worries about their initial counseling experiences (Fitch & Marshall, 2002). I was very nervous about my initial placement; worried about my job performance and if I would be mentally strong to endure working in the mental health field. It is important that students learn how to manage anxiety as excessive anxiety as a practicum student can transition into burnout as the student seeks out employment as a mental health professional (Fitch & Marshall, 20022). Although I have experience in various areas of mental health, I still carry some form on anxiety or nervousness when finding new employment, new field placement, working with clients, or performing a new role. Fitch and Marshall (2002) reported that anxiety regarding counseling skills and abilities rise from rational and irrational beliefs about the counseling process, uncertainty about necessary skills, and anxiety related to the change process. Therefore, cognitive interventions can be used to challenge irrational thoughts and replace them with more logical thoughts; thus, decreasing anxiety levels to aid in improved practicum performance. Dodge (1982) outlined five steps that can be used to implement cognitive strategies in supervision: (a) identifying and accepting counselors’ anxiety and related defensive reactions, (b) identifying cognitive patterns regarding approval and performance demands, (c) challenging and disputing these irrational beliefs, (d) constructing more rational and logical thoughts, and (e) taking behavioral risks that support the soundness of the logical arguments (Fitch & Marshall, 2002). I think it would be helpful if supervisors utilized these strategies to elicit rational thoughts within practicum students to address worry and anxiety. I have second-guessed myself many times and the following thoughts have emerged: Is this the right profession for me? Am I doing meaningful work? Will I apply my education and techniques appropriately to aid in clients meeting their goals? Am I assertive enough? I have used cognitive techniques in the past to replace irrational thoughts and will continue to do so because I have found resolve. However, it will be effective if I have a supervisor that is willing to process anxiety, dispute irrational thoughts, and promote positive self-talk during group supervision. So far, my supervisor appears supportive and has instilled positive thoughts about my performance and potential in the counseling field. Reference Fitch, T. J. & Marshall, J. L. (2002). Using cognitive interventions with counseling practicum students during group supervision. Counselor Education & Supervision, 41(4), 335.… Lori B RE: Journal Article In the scholarly article, “Assessing Counseling Students’ Attitudes Regarding Substance Abuse and Treatment”, the authors found that substance abuse issues should be added to future programs of study within counseling given the expected rate of need of counselors at 21% (Chasek et al., 2012). Because there has been no uniform national curriculum standards, substance abuse beliefs, attitudes, and bias by students in the field of counseling have greatly affected those in need (Chasek et al., 2012). Addiction treatment has long been thought of as a character flaw, a moral failing or even a legal problem, which has led to delayed diagnoses and treatment with poorer therapeutic outcomes (Chasek et al., 2012). This research study showed that students who have knowledge and skills about substance abuse treatment can have a negative effect on clients if their attitudes are stereotypical and moralistic (Chasek et al., 2012). During my practicum and presently this internship, I have found many “addiction counselors” who are not properly educated in the field. Many of these counselors have bachelor’s degrees in anything from psychology to education and have no empathy or understanding of substance abuse and treatment. Many of the attitudes that I have experienced are one of blame and disdain. I have found that those who have experienced addiction seem to be more understanding but due to the stressful environment, usually relapse. Because of the opioid epidemic, treatment facilities have popped up everywhere but cannot retain the necessary staff to educate those in treatment. Those uneducated counselors who do stay at a facility are inundated with extreme case loads, hostile clients, constant insurance denials, and less than motivated colleagues. I think education in the disease of addiction can greatly help those in the field so they can in turn help others. Because empathy can be taught through education, putting those who do not have much empathy for those suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction can be quite dangerous for all involved. The knowledge from this article has reminded me that empathy is the key to becoming a great substance abuse counselor if only given the chance! Reference Chasek, C. L., Jorgensen, M., & Maxson, T. (2012). Assessing Counseling Students’ Attitudes Regarding Substance Abuse and Treatment. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 33(2), 107–114.

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