Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Counselors’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Treating Nonsuicidal Self-Injurious Behaviors
by Davis, McKay K., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 172; 27544721
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored knowledge about, attitudes toward, and practices surrounding the treatment of nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors (NSSI) through the use of open-ended interviews with child and adolescent counselors in a midwestern state. Previous research had indicated that many counselors held negative biases toward individuals who engage in NSSI, which could damage the therapeutic alliance and treatment outcomes. Further research noted that counselors with additional knowledge or training for NSSI tended to hold fewer negative biases toward those behaviors. Thus, the research question was developed to investigate the current state of counselor preparedness: how do child and adolescent counselors describe their knowledge, attitudes, and practices in treating NSSI? A generic qualitative inquiry was utilized following a constructivist paradigm to learn about the unique experiences of each participant. A purposive sampling plan led to a sample size of 10 participants. There were three male and seven female participants; two of the participants were provisionally licensed counselors, and eight were fully licensed; the average age of the participants was 42.8 years old. The data generated from the open-ended interviews were coded through thematic analysis resulting in the following themes: the purpose of NSSI, treatment practices, safety concerns, bias, and learning curve. The resulting conclusions were closely aligned with findings from other current research: (a) participants desired easier access to information and support when treating presenting concerns impacting client safety; (b) negative biases toward NSSI were still prevalent; and lastly, (c) possible deficiencies in current counselor education and supervision practices were identified. Possible areas for future research include exploring ways to bolster clinical supervision practices to focus on clinical knowledge and skills rather than billing and office matters as well as exploring specifically what types of training or education lead to a reduction in bias toward NSSI.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Young, Rosalyn
Commitee: Kippers, Sola, Miley, Katherine
School: Capella University
Department: School of Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 81/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Attitudes, Bias, Counselors, NSSI, Supervision
Publication Number: 27544721
ISBN: 9781392526187
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