Counseling Program Student Resources
Lab Reflection Papers
Students should type and double-space all reflections. These should be handed in each week to the lab leader with a copy for the co-leader. Students can use some of the following questions to help them reflect on their experience in lab:
- Did your emotional response seem appropriate, meaning, did it attach the same significance to the event that God would?
- Did you have an emotion that seemed more intense than the situation warranted?
- Did you notice an absence of emotion when it seemed like there should have been emotion?
- Did your emotional response seem different than that of other lab members?
- Did you find your mind wandering? What would you attribute that to?
- Did anything in lab bring thoughts to mind of something that happened to you?
- Were you bored?
- What thoughts were going through your mind in the moment?
Behaviors (your response):
- Were you able to bring your emotions and thoughts to lab in ways that loved your lab members well?
- Did you like who you were in lab today?
- Did you under-respond or over-respond?
- What kept you from responding in ways that you would have liked to? What goals are you aware of behind your response?
- Do you find yourself responding to anyone in lab in ways that you would typically respond to someone else in your life?
- Did anything that happened in lab touch your longings?
- Did you experience any flashes of pain that may have been associated with painful things in your past?
- Did you taste anything today that tasted like something that you really want from your world but never get?
- Did anything happen today that you felt threatened to expose you in some way?
Academic Research and Writing Resources
The Masland Library is connected to the Smith Administration Building and contains many resources to aid students in scholarly writing, as well as quiet places for students to study and write. However, many of the resources graduate students will utilize for scholarly assignments can be found on the library’s online databases which can be accessed both on and off campus. Students will need their student ID number in order to be able to access the library remotely. Please select the links provided above and below for online access to Masland library and instructions on how to utilize Masland Library’s online databases.
- How to Utilize Cairn’s Online Library Databases PowerPoint
- APA Formatting – Basic Guide
- Counseling Research Help
The Academic Resource Center (ARC) offers disability services, a writing lab, tutoring and other services to equip students to succeed academically. If you would like to utilize any of the ARC’s services, please select the link above, scroll to the lower portion of the webpage and make an appointment.
Graduate counseling students are expected to write scholarly research papers that utilize appropriate grammar, syntax, formatting and scholarly resources. The following links are meant to assist students with various levels of academic writing abilities produce scholarly research papers at the graduate level.
- Grading Rubric Sample
- Sample Instructions
- Peer Reviewed Criteria & Scholarly Resources
- Research Study Examples: 1 2 3
- Writing Papers 101
APA Formatting Help
Graduate counseling students are required to write in the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). As a graduate program with students coming from a variety of academic backgrounds, we want to provide the resources to equip students for academic success. Please utilize the following likes for assistance with writing in APA style.
- APA Style Central
- APA Formatting and Style Guide
- Psychology Writing Guide
- APA Style (Video)
- APA Format in Word in 4 Minutes (Video)
Throughout a graduate counseling student’s education, the student will need to engage in writing literature reviews. We have provided the following links to explain what a literature review is and how to write a scholarly literature review.
- What It Is and How to Write One (Video)
- Writing Literature Review Article
- Sample Literature Review
Case Conceptualization Help
At various points throughout the graduate counseling program, students will be expected to formulate and write formal case conceptualizations for clients. The ability to conceptualize cases is imperative for counselors, as thorough and accurate conceptualization forms the foundation for treatment planning in counseling. As a counselor-in-training it is your prerogative to invest significant amounts of time learning the various theoretical foundations for case conceptualization in your case conceptualization books, and apply these theories to specific case conceptualization exercises. The following resources should assist you in this process.
- Case Conceptualization Basics
- Identifying Problems and Creating Counseling Goals
- Data Gathering
- Global Assessment of Functioning Scale
- Mental Status Exam
Documentation in Counseling
Writing succinct and accurate case notes and maintaining proper documentation of client treatment is an integral practice in a counselor’s career. While each site may utilize different forms for documentation, most sites utilize a type of DAP or SOAP note to record data from client sessions. The following links will help you differentiate between the different content areas in case notes and educate you on the overall process of writing professional counseling case notes.
- DAP & SOAP Notes
- SOAP, DA(R)P, BASIC SID & Gillman HIPPA Progress Notes
During the fourth semester of the graduate counseling program, students must create their own counseling group curriculum.
Professional Practice Resources
- Cairn University Counseling Majors Facebook Group
- Cairn University LinkedIn Page
- Cairn University Alumni LinkedIn Group
- Counselor Resume Formulation
Counseling Training and Continuing Education Links
- American Association of Christian Counselors (AACA)
- American Counseling Association (ACA) – Continuing Education
- Global Trauma Recovery
- Addiction Education
Membership in professional organizations not only qualifies students for the benefits that come with membership, but is also an important way for students to formally identify with the counseling profession. Professional counseling organizations typically offer educational resources, advocacy, professional development opportunities and increased capability for networking. Please see below for a listing of professional counseling organizations and click on each link to explore the mission, vision and offerings of each organization before making a choice regarding which organization you will pursue for membership. Please note that there are many more organizations that students can be a part of.
American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)
AACC’s mission is to assist “Christian counselors, the entire ‘community of care,’ licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training. It is our intention to equip clinical, pastor and lay care-givers with biblical truth and psychosocial insights that minister to hurting persons and helps them to move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.”
American Counseling Association (ACA)
ACA is “a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world’s largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings. The mission of the American Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.”
American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA)
AMHCA’s mission is to “enhance the profession of clinical mental health counseling through advocacy, education and collaboration.” AMHCA claims to be “the leading national organization for licensed clinical mental health counselors. AMHCA strives to be the go-to organization for licensed clinical mental health counselors for advocacy, education, leadership, and collaboration. Our organization provides the backbone of resources needed for clinical mental health counselors to thrive in today’s world.”
Pennsylvania Counseling Association (PACA)
PACA is a state branch of the Washington, DC-based ACA and is also a part of the American Counseling Association—North Atlantic Region’s (ACA—NAR) network of state branches, the ACA—NAR being one of four regional chapters of the ACA. The PCA president serves as the association’s official delegate to the ACA-NAR. As a state branch of the ACA, the Pennsylvania Counseling Association accepts the responsibility to serve and represent Pennsylvania’s professional counselors by providing leadership and professional development. The purpose of the association is to enhance human development throughout the life span and to promote professional counseling.
New Jersey Counseling Association (NJCA)
NJCA is the leading state organization of counselors who are working to create an environment in which quality counseling services are accessible, available, and utilized. NJCA is dedicated to advancing the counseling profession through the professional development of counselors and counseling students, and expanding public recognition and awareness of the profession.