Founded in 1991 | A division of the American Counseling Association


Poster Presentations

Dealing with trauma: A review of the literature on virtually supporting college students experiencing trauma during COVID-19 and beyond.

Presenter(s):

Caitlin Luetger-Schlewitt
Northwestern University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way in which colleges and universities across the United States serve their students. While some colleges have elected to carry on with face to face classes, many have chosen to temporarily suspend on-campus activity in favor of remote classes and services, including remote counseling services. Despite advances in telehealth, prior to COVID-19, most college counseling centers in the United States did not provide any form of telehealth services to their students. As the pandemic continues, it is likely that college counseling centers will be called upon to provide increasing amounts of virtual support for students experiencing a variety of trauma symptoms, some of which may be directly related to COVID-19. While ample research exists to examine the efficacy of telehealth for trauma or the impact of trauma on college students, there is a gap in the literature when it comes to examining telehealth treatment of trauma in college counseling centers. This review assesses the existing gaps in the literature, assesses the unique challenges faced by colleges and students during COVID-19, and highlights the implications of working with college students experiencing trauma via telehealth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify gaps in the literature regarding virtual support for college students experiencing trauma
  • Assess unique challenges faced by college students experiencing trauma during COVID-19
  • Assess the implications of working with college students experiencing trauma via telehealth
  • Apply limitations and benefits to virtual trauma treatment to college counseling

Counselors In Training & Self-Determination Theory: Adjustments in Clinical Supervision and Educational Experience Due to Covid-19

Presenter(s):

Austin Guida
The University of Arizona

Brian Clarke
The University of Arizona

Topic(s):

  • Research and Program Evaluation

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has been the impetus for multiple radical changes to the educational and clinical supervision experience for students enrolled in counselor training programs. Students, programs, and clinical supervisors alike have all been tasked with the difficult endeavor of managing the necessary adjustments that have been made in response to the pandemic. The purpose of this poster is to display findings from an exploratory study utilizing Self-Determination Theory as the theoretical basis to begin to shed light on how the adjustments that occurred due to Covid-19 have impacted counseling student's experiences with clinical supervision and education. The data analysis presented will provide implications for clinical supervision, program evaluation, and potentially further assist counselor training programs and supervisors in meeting students' needs and optimizing training during this time, and into an uncertain future.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to interpret and analyze data regarding the impact that Covid-19 related changes have had on counseling student's motivation, connectedness and autonomy through the lense of self-determination theory
  • Participants will gain an understanding of how necessary changes implemented in counselor training programs due to Covid-19 have impacted student's experience with clinical supervision and training.
  • Participants will be able to describe the impact that Covid-19 has had on counseling students' well being, providing implications for counselor training program evaluation and clinical supervision.

From Illness to Wellness: The Impact of Flourishing on Collegiate Mental Health

Presenter(s):

Yahaira Garcia
University of Oregon

Christina Cendejas
University of Oregon

Samantha Martínez
University of Oregon

Maureen Fleming
University of Oregon

Lindsey Romero
University of Oregon

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: College campuses are experiencing an increase in demands for mental health services among students (Lipson et al., 2019). Yet, emerging adults also report higher rates of well-being than older adults, complicating the understanding of college student mental health (Westerhof & Keyes, 2010). A state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being, defined as flourishing, can aid in the prevention and treatment of mental illness, providing a useful framework for examining college student mental health (Provencher & Keyes, 2011). Flourishing is associated with reduced risk of mood and anxiety disorders; lower rates of substance use and suicidal behavior; and better physical health (Keyes et al., 2012; Keyes & Simoes, 2012; Parker et al., 2018). However, a notable gap exists in the literature regarding whether flourishing or mental illness has a stronger impact on student mental health. This poster will 1) provide a positive framework for understanding student mental health and 2) assess whether flourishing buffers the negative impact of depression on mental health outcomes. Results from a campus-wide mental health survey will be reviewed, highlighting the utility of flourishing during sociopolitical crises (i.e., Black Lives Matter, COVID-19).

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain a positive mental health framework and its relevance to public health prevention and health promotion efforts on college campuses.
  • Identify the relative contribution of flourishing and depression on mental health outcomes, including resilience, and suicidality.

Acculturative Stress, Coping Strategies, and Depression in International College Students

Presenter(s):

Hongjun Tan
Johns Hopkins University

Yiying Xiong
Johns Hopkins University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Depression has been a prevalent issue in the increasing large international student population in U.S. higher education. The study introduced in this presentation aims to investigate the effects of acculturative stress and coping strategies on depressive symptoms in international college students, and how different coping strategies could potentially mediate the relationship between acculturative stress and depressive symptoms. One-hundred-and-sixty-six international students participated in this survey study. Preliminary correlational analysis and multiple regression analyses supported the study hypotheses, where acculturative stress is positively correlated with depressive symptoms (r = 0.54, p < 0.001), and dysfunctional coping behavior is positively correlated with depressive symptoms (r = 0.72, p < 0.001). Mediation analysis using bootstrapping method also revealed a partial mediation effect of dysfunctional coping strategies between acculturative stress and depressive symptoms. Clinical implications of the findings and directions of future studies are discussed in this presentation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe the role of coping strategies in international college students' acculturation experience and depressive symptoms.
  • Participants will apply the findings about acculturative stress, use of coping strategies, and depressive symptoms in treatment planning with international college student clients.

Measurement and predictors of wellness among African-American College Professors: An application of the VIA Strengths Assessment

Presenter(s):

Tonya Davis
Alabama A&M University

Shatoi Scott
Alabama A&M Univesity

Tenille Brownrigg
Alabama A&M University

Adrienne Vaughan -Parham
Alabama A&M University

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Academics contend with challenges relative to work-life balance and levels of wellness on a daily basis. In particular, African American Counselor Educators working in higher education face unique encounters that not only impact advancement, but their ability to engage in intermediating factors to reduce stress and promote higher levels of wellness. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, less than 4% of full-time faculty are African American Females (McFarland et al, 2019). In light of COVID 19, impacts in higher education such as hiring freezes and tight employment markets are inevitable. And, given that African Americans make up a disproportionate percentage of newly hired non-tenured faculty in higher education, they are most likely to be dismissed when reductions are required. This under-representation of African American female faculty in higher education lends itself to explore levels of resiliency and motivational factors that contribute to permanency in academia. Thus, identifying mediating factors for resilience is especially important given the limited research on cultural factors in resilience research (Raghavan & Sandanapitchai, 2020).Using Wellness Models and the Strengths based literature, our study explores commonalities among African American female professors that contribute to resilience despite allostatic loads (Burt & Simmons, 2015; Williams, 2019).

Learning Objectives:

  • The primary objective of this session is to introduce participants to various factors that contribute to levels of resiliency among African American female professors during Covid-19. Participants will describe the underpinning literature that surrounds wellness trends, strengths, and the intersection of trauma.
  • Participants will engage in discussions and explain implications for counselors and academics related to wellness and resiliency.
  • At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to apply tangible information regarding the use of self-care strategies to increase levels of wellness in academics. Participants will also be provided tools and resources for a cognitive shift to a strengths-based approach in work- life balance.

Utilizing a holistic wellness approach to address and support collegiate student athletes unique mental health needs during the covid-19 pandemic.

Presenter(s):

Austin Guida
The University of Arizona

Teejay Brown
The University of Arizona

Cassandra Hirdes
The University of Arizona

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: In a typical academic year, the collegiate student athlete population is one that is characterized as having unique demands and stressors in comparison to their non-athlete counterparts. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a far from typical experience for student athletes, and as a result has presented with additional challenges in mental health and wellness. Student athletes had to accept the necessary, albeit swift, change in the delivery of academic instruction, with the added disappointment of cancelled seasons, persistent anxiety over seasons that remain hanging in the balance, and a salient concern given the context, remaining healthy. In light of this, it is critical to provide college counselors with tools to engage and support this unique population during this time. The purpose of this poster will be to display the Indivisible Self Wellness Model and how this holistic model in particular can be applied to college counseling in order to support student athlete's mental health and wellness during the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the Indivisible Self-Wellness Model (IS-WEL) and its particular relevance for student athletes during the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Identify the multiple demands and stressors student athletes face, given their unique experiences before and amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Explain how college counselors and other mental health practitioners can apply the IS-WEL model to address the mental health needs of student athletes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Body Talks: Encouraging body acceptance using expressive arts interventions

Presenter(s):

Meredith Moore
The University of Arkansas

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the implementation of an expressive arts group for college women that encourages exploration of body image concerns. The group aims to promote body acceptance and challenge harmful societal beauty standards that can lead to body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and increased risk of eating disorders. This poster will showcase examples of expressive arts activities completed by participants in the Body Talks group. The presenter will discuss methods used to host these groups, and creative ways for counselors to bring this type of workshop into their unique practice setting.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to articulate the importance of body acceptance and liberation in the prevention of eating disorders.
  • Participants will discover ideas to help them effectively implement their own Body Talk program in a variety of practice settings.
  • Participants will be able to name one specific expressive arts intervention used in the Body Talk group

Co-occurring Presenting Problems in African American College Clients Reporting Racial Discrimination Distress

Presenter(s):

RUTH CHAO
University of Denver

Kenny Le

Courtney Dunne

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify clients' presenting problems at counseling centers significantly associated with perceptions of racial discrimination among African American clients at predominantly White institutions. Thus, in addition to typical college student difficulties that are experienced by most college students, many African American students encounter racism-related stress. This study conducted analysis on archival intake data of the Presenting Problems Checklist from 1555 African American clients in counseling centers at seven public universities in the Midwest. In general, the perceived racial discrimination distress (PRDD) is associated with a broad range of other presenting problems, including academic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal concerns. We then conducted subsequent analyses for African American men and women separately due to African American men and women perceived different levels of distress. The results of ordinal correlations suggested significant associations between PRDD and 32 presenting problems among African American women, and the significant associations between PRDD and 25 presenting problems among African American men. Thus, when discussing discrimination with African American college clients, counselors should be sensitive to gender-related differences.  Our results indicated that the rates of presenting problems such as depression were significantly higher among clients who reported high levels of perceived racial distress.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify clients' presenting problems at counseling centers significantly associated with perceptions of racial discrimination among African American clients at predominantly White institutions.
  • In addition to typical college student difficulties that are experienced by most college students, many African American students encounter racism-related stress.

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