Theory and practice submissions to the JMHC: keeping the "mental health" in mental health counseling.It is an honor to be named as the new associate editor of the Practice and Theory sections of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC). In assuming this role, I follow in the steps of the many distinguished associate editors who have influenced the development of this journal, and I thank them for their many contributions.
The Theory and Practice sections of the journal have historically been reviewed by different associate editors, and I will be the first associate editor to serve as the editor for both sections. As theory informs practice, and actual practice impacts and facilitates counseling theory, I believe that these two sections of the journal are intimately related, and I look forward to serving as action editor for all of the manuscripts submitted to these two sections.
Before discussing my thoughts on the theory and practice sections of the journal, I think it is important to acknowledge the recent history of these sections. Alex Hall Alex Hall (born Patricia Anne Thompson, 19th July 1949 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire) is a British actress and Radio presenter. Early Life
Her father was a semi-professional footballer for Nuneaton FC. (2002), in serving as the previous associate editor of the Theory section of JMHC, described her interest in "making audible the voices of the less visible" (p. 199). Hall described the importance of empowering the less visible, especially our youth, and making their voices audible. Bernie Jesiolowski (2005), the past associate editor of the Practice section emphasized the importance of understanding the multiple contexts in which mental health counselors A mental health counselor is a professional who provides counseling to individuals, couples, families, groups, or larger systems. A mental health counselor may also have training in educational and vocational counseling (MacCluskie & Ingersoll 2001). function, as well as addressing "real world" practice issues when submitting to the Practice section. In the following sections I will build upon my predecessors' visions and will describe the importance of potential authors not losing sight of the "mental health" inherent in the term mental health counseling.
MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING
The World Health Organization (WHO, 2001) describes mental health as being more than justan absence of disease or infirmity Flaw, defect, or weakness.
In a legal sense, the term infirmity is used to mean any imperfection that renders a particular transaction void or incomplete. For example, if a deed drawn up to transfer ownership of land contains an erroneous description of it, an , but rather, "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being" (paragraph 6). At the root of this definition is the idea that all people have mental health needs--it is not just people who have diagnosable mental disorders mental disorders: see bipolar disorder; paranoia; psychiatry; psychosis; schizophrenia. who are in need of mental health counseling. The WHO also describes the importance of the relationship between mental, physical and social health, and describes mental health promotion as efforts aimed at individual, community, and societal-level change.
Associated to these ideas, the American Mental Health Counseling Association's (AMHCA AMHCA American Mental Health Counselors Association ) ethical codes Noun 1. ethical code - a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
system of rules, system - a complex of methods or rules governing behavior; "they have to operate under a system they oppose"; "that language has a complex system indicate that mental health counselors are to encourage the growth and development of the clients they counsel (Preamble A clause at the beginning of a constitution or statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objectives it seeks to attain.
Generally a preamble is a declaration by the legislature of the reasons for the passage of the statute, and it aids in the interpretation of and Section A, Introduction; AMHCA, 2000, 1.A.1.). An assumption of this perspective is the idea that people have the capacity to develop and grow, and that mental health counselors can help people to achieve optimal development.
Related to the issue of growth and development, mental health counselors also aim to facilitate client wellness (Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2001), rather than simply eliminate pathology. For instance, within the counseling process, mental health counselors identify clients' strengths, and build upon these strengths.
In a time when a focus on psychopathology psychopathology /psy·cho·pa·thol·o·gy/ (-pah-thol´ah-je)
1. the branch of medicine dealing with the causes and processes of mental disorders.
2. abnormal, maladaptive behavior or mental activity. and mental disorders is required for third-party reimbursement Reimbursement
Payment made to someone for out-of-pocket expenses has incurred. (Eriksen & Kress, 2005), it is increasingly possible that we may lose our identity as mental health counselors; mental health professionals who focus on facilitating human growth and development, conceptualize con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: peoples' situations from multiple perspectives, and use varied contextually sensitive theories and practice interventions in helping people to live healthy, full lives. It is my belief that mental health counselors must not lose a mental health focus, as this is what makes us unique and distinguishes us from other mental health professionals.
KEEPING THE "MENTAL HEALTH" IN MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING
As the associate editor of the Theory and Practice section, I invite manuscripts that relate to all aspect of mental health counseling practice. In particular, manuscripts that help to keep the "mental heath" in mental health counseling might be of particular interest to our readership.
With regard to the Theory and Practice sections of the JMHC, manuscripts that focus on integrated theoretical models and concepts, strength-based, empowerment-oriented theories, early intervention ear·ly intervention
n. Abbr. EI
A process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay. , and prevention theories, wellness-oriented theories, developmental theories, multicultural and contextually based theories, as well as practice manuscripts which provide ideas for mental health counselors to use in developing their professional and clinical expertise would all be of interest to our readership.
Additionally, Theory and Practice manuscripts that address the complexities of integrating both a mental health perspective along with the required pathology-focused perspective, which currently dominates the behavioral health Behavioral health was first used in the 1980's to name the combination of the fields mental health and substance abuse. As an example, an organization serving both mental health and substance abuse clients might refer to its practice as behavioral health or field, would be helpful to our readership.
Scholarship has been defined as "knowledge resulting from study and research in a particular field" (dictionary.com). Based on this definition, all mental heath practitioners, in their daily counseling practice, engage in some form of scholarship; mental health counselors study their clients, and they continually assess and reassess reassess
to reconsider the value or importance of
Verb 1. reassess - revise or renew one's assessment
reevaluate what theories and interventions work with clients who have varied characteristics. Please consider sharing your scholarly expertise by publishing in the theory and practice sections of the JMHC.
American Mental Health Counselors Association. (2000). AMHCA code of ethics Code of Ethics can refer to:
Eriksen, K., & Kress, V. E. (2005). Beyond the DSM 1. DSM - Data Structure Manager.
An object-oriented language by J.E. Rumbaugh and M.E. Loomis of GE, similar to C++. It is used in implementation of CAD/CAE software. DSM is written in DSM and C and produces C as output. story: Ethical quandaries, challenges, and best practices. Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown. , CA: Sage.
Hall, A. S. (2002). Theory, practice, and professional development: Best practices, hearing all voices. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 24, 199-201.
Jesiolowski, B. S. (2005). The context of contribution: Publishing practice articles in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 27, 193-196.
Myers, J. E., Sweeney, T. J., & Witmer, J. M. (2001). Optimization of behavior: Promotion of wellness. In D. C. Locke, J. E. Myers, E. L. Herr (Eds.), The handbook of counseling (pp. 641-652). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The World Health Organization. (2001). A world health report 2001--Mental health: New understanding, new hope. Retrieved July 11, 2006 from http://www.who.int/whr/2001/ chapter 1/en/index.html.
Victoria E. Kress, Youngstown State University Youngstown State University, at Youngstown, Ohio; coeducational; est. 1908 as a department of the Youngstown Association School sponsored by the Young Men's Christian Association.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Victoria E. Kress, Beeghly Hall, Department of Counseling and Special Education, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555. Electronic mail may be sent to email@example.com