Title

Social Advocacy in Counselor Education Programs: From Theory to Action

Conference Strand

Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy

Abstract

Social justice advocacy is an important part of counseling and one of the most challenging areas for educational programs to teach. Presenters will introduce an experiential-based model for teaching social advocacy which includes a 100 hour social justice pre-practicum as well as discuss the experiences of alums who have participated in this model.

Description

Multicultural counseling has been a part of our profession’s lexicon for the past forty years. Since then we have seen an ongoing appreciation and redefining of multicultural counseling that includes an awareness of the systemic forces of oppression as well as a mandate for professional action that is intended to change these systemic forces. According to the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics (ACA, 2014) counselors have an ethical obligation to “advocate at the individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to examine potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access and/or the growth and development of clients” (A.7.a). Counselors-in-training are in a position to learn the importance of becoming advocates for their clients, but may not receive adequate training in this area. This is an area of counselor education which is challenging to teach in a way that is meaningful for students. Often, social justice is briefly mentioned in certain classes, including multicultural classes, with little or no actual opportunities for students to engaging in advocacy work. By having students engaged in advocacy work they not only develop a stronger appreciation for the needs of their clients but also help build their community by promote social awareness and change. The presenters will introduce an experiential-based model which has been incorporated in their training program. The model includes having students participate in a 100 hour social justice pre-practicum.

In order to measure its effectiveness the presenters have conducted a focus group study of alums who have participated in the pre-practicum experience and who are now professionals in the community. Alums reported a greater appreciation for the importance of advocacy work and were more likely to incorporate it in their practice. Alums also shared how the model could be improved to further enhance students’ learning.

Evidence

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Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Sanabria, Ph.D.

M.A., University of Florida; Ph.D., University of Florida

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor

Dr. Sanabria specializing in multicultural and human sexuality issues in counseling. He has over 15 years of clinical practice experience counseling experience and is currently an associate professor at Rollins College’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. His area of professional interest includes social justice counseling, LGBT and Latinx experiences, and neuroinformed counseling practices.

Alicia M. Homrich, Ph.D. Professor of Counseling M.A., Rollins College; Ph.D., University of Georgia Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, National Certified Counselor.

Dr. Homrich is a 1992 graduate of the counseling program. Her areas of professional interest include group work, solution-focused brief therapy, and family strengths and resiliency. Dr. Homrich’s recent scholarship focus is on gatekeeping in the clinical professions as well as determining standards for students’ personal and professional conduct. She oversees the Certificate in Family and Relationship Therapy program.

Start Date

2-9-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

2-9-2018 3:45 PM

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Feb 9th, 2:30 PM Feb 9th, 3:45 PM

Social Advocacy in Counselor Education Programs: From Theory to Action

Social justice advocacy is an important part of counseling and one of the most challenging areas for educational programs to teach. Presenters will introduce an experiential-based model for teaching social advocacy which includes a 100 hour social justice pre-practicum as well as discuss the experiences of alums who have participated in this model.