Title

From the Voices of Students: Social Justice Training and Identifying Training Growth Edges

Conference Strand

Teaching, Training, and Supervision

Abstract

This presentation addresses the purpose and importance of social justice and advocacy training in counselor education. Additionally, social justice issues that are often underrepresented in literature and within social justice training will be examined. Implications for training and students’ development as counselors will also be discussed.

Description

The American Counseling Association’s Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) emphasize the importance of including multicultural and social justice competencies in all domains of counseling (Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2015). Additionally, the ACA Advocacy Competencies call for counselors to advocate on behalf of clients and students on the micro, meso, and macro levels (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2003). In this presentation, we will discuss our experiences with social justice training from a student perspective. Having been among the first counselors-in-training to have tailored training in social justice and advocacy as a part of our core curriculum in our program, we assert such training has been vital to our education and counseling practice. Using the MSJCC model to frame our presentation (Ratts et al., 2015), we aim to discuss the utility of this training for our education and clinical work, and considerations for counselor educator social justice course development. We will discuss theoretical models or concepts and classroom work product introduced in our course vital to our training experiences. Further, we will highlight selected topics that warrant extended learning, particularly in our evolving sociopolitical context. Drawing on experiences from the classroom, clinical work, and personal reflections, we will highlight the issues of ableism, fatphobia, and male invisibility within social justice and counseling contexts. In doing so, it is our goal to contribute to the increasing emphasis of these topics in social justice and counseling training; thus, improving the quality of advocacy clients experience from the counselors with whom they work and encouraging greater breadth in training future counselors.


Evidence

American Counseling Association. (2018). ACA Competencies. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/competencies#

Ratts, M. J., Singh, A. A., Nassar-McMillan, S., Butler, S. K., & McCullough, J. R. (2015).

Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/multicultural-and-social-justice-counseling-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=8573422c_20

Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek. (2003). Advocacy Competencies. Retrieved from

https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/competencies/aca-advocacy-competencies.pdf?sfvrsn=d177522c_4

Format

Individual Presentations

Biographical Sketch

Adriauna Clay-Potts is a second-year graduate student in the Mental Health Counseling Master’s program at the University of Georgia. Her educational background includes both a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Currently, Adriauna is an intern at Advantage Behavioral Health Systems working with a variety of individuals in the Athens-Clarke County community. Adriauna is interested in working with marginalized populations, namely people of color, and seeks to incorporate social justice and advocacy in her work. As a clinician, Adriauna’s theoretical orientation integrates interpersonal and feminist theories with a multicultural framework.

Elizabeth Thacker is a Master's Student in the Mental Health Counseling Program at the University of Georgia. Prior to her work at the University of Georgia, Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Berry College. She is currently a Master's Level Clinician at the Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation at the University of Georgia. Elizabeth is interested in continuing her work with early adulthood and college populations in the future, as well as using social justice and advocacy both in and out of the therapy room. Elizabeth practices mainly from an integration of Interpersonal Process, Feminist, and Existential theoretical perspectives.

Denise Powers is a second-year student in the Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Georgia and received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. Denise is also the current Co-President of UGA’s Mental Health Counseling Student Association, and she currently interns at UGA’s Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation doing both individual and group psychotherapy from an interpersonal and multicultural framework. A major focus for Denise has been increasing visibility and awareness of disability identity issues in counseling in clinical and classroom settings. Denise’s research interests include disability identity from a multicultural perspective, counselor perceptions on mental and physical disabilities, and counselor education and training regarding disability identity.

Madeline McGarrah is a second-year graduate student in the University of Georgia’s Masters in Mental Health Counseling. Madeline received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minoring in Human Development and Family Science, from the University of Georgia in 2017. She is completing her clinical internship experience as a Master’s level clinician at the Tree House, Inc., where she provides trauma counseling for children and adolescents. Madeline works from an integrated strengths-based, multicultural, feminist, and interpersonal approach to counseling. Her previous research experience includes examining well-being themes among LGBT+ individuals in middle and late adulthood. Her current interests include working with children and families, in providing both individual and family counseling.

Shawntell Pace, M.Ed.is a second-year Mental Health Counseling Masters student at the University of Georgia. She received both her Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film and her Masters in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University. Prior to UGA, Shawntell spent over 5 years working in education as a Student Affairs professional and as a national award-winning Broadcast Journalism instructor for high school students. During her time as a teacher, her work included developing the curriculum and leading cultural competency training for administrators and teachers in the Charleston, SC area to promote inclusive learning environments for all students. Currently, Shawntell works as a masters-level clinician at the Counseling Center for Personal Evaluation at UGA working mostly with people of color and members of the LGBT+ community. Her current research includes the psychological influences of Black History Knowledge in the classroom setting and how Nationally Recognized Race-Related Events (NRRRE) impact Black Americans at HBCUs and PWIs. Shawntell practices from an interpersonal, multicultural, and feminist framework.

Location

PARB 239

Start Date

2-8-2019 1:00 PM

End Date

2-8-2019 2:15 PM

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Feb 8th, 1:00 PM Feb 8th, 2:15 PM

From the Voices of Students: Social Justice Training and Identifying Training Growth Edges

PARB 239

This presentation addresses the purpose and importance of social justice and advocacy training in counselor education. Additionally, social justice issues that are often underrepresented in literature and within social justice training will be examined. Implications for training and students’ development as counselors will also be discussed.