The National University System Repository exists to increase public access to research and other materials created by students and faculty of the affiliate institutions of National University System. Most items in the repository are open access, freely available to everyone.

Recent Submissions

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    Destigmiatzing Psychedelic Assisted Therapy as a Treatment Modality for Individuals with a Diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder
    (2024-05-10) Pullen, David
    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a prevalent and debilitating condition with significant public health implications. Traditional treatment approaches achieve limited success which has necessitated the exploration of alternative modalities. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) has gained recent attention for promising results in several clinical trials, however it’s efficacy and mechanisms of action remain underexplored. This capstone reviews the existing literature pertaining to PAP as a treatment protocol for AUD while focusing on current research exploring the theories of mechanistic action. Primarily the intention is to explore whether PAP reduces problematic drinking among populations with a diagnosis of AUD.
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    Social Factors Influencing the Development of Adolescents’ Sexual Self-Concept: Implications for Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
    (2024-02) Giesbrecht, Riley
    This capstone investigates how social factors influence adolescent sexual self-concept (SSC) and informs sexual health education (SHE) practices. Examining religious, educational, and caregiver influences reveals nuanced findings. Religious teachings in conservative denominations often perpetuate shame and stigma for sexual and gender minority youth. School-based SHE programs promoting abstinence and heteronormativity negatively impact SSC, especially for LGBTQIA2S+ youth. Caregivers, while influential, face barriers in discussing sex positively. The implications for counsellors include providing accurate information, supporting families with queer youth, and adopting culturally competent approaches. Despite some progress, challenges persist in critiquing abstinence-only ideologies and promoting comprehensive SHE. A proposed workshop aims to empower caregivers in fostering open discussions about sexuality within families. In conclusion, comprehensive and inclusive SHE is vital for informed decision-making and positive SSCs among adolescents, urging further research and focus in this area.
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    Blurring the Boundaries of Racial Privilege and Oppression: Exploring the Narrative and Lived Experience of Mixed-Race Individuals
    (2024-04) Bouton, Hayley
    Although there has been considerable movement towards racial oppression advocacy and social justice activism of late, much of this movement's attention is focused on the marginalization and discrimination faced by monoracial visible minority groups. Mixed-race individuals —despite experiencing distinct challenges different from those of monoracial groups— are often overlooked as a unique demographic, with varied encounters of both oppression and privilege. They are frequently denied the opportunity to share their personal experiences and as a result their specific struggles remain unacknowledged. The primary objective of this capstone project is to scrutinize the underappreciated narratives of multiracial individuals. It begins by presenting the multiracial experience through a historical analysis of mixed-race identity and interracial relationships. Subsequent to this initial examination, the paper proceeds to investigate contemporary perspectives on mixed-race identity and lived experiences. Furthermore, this capstone explores the ramifications of monoracial privilege, elucidating how such advantages impact the perceived self-concept and mental well-being of multiracial individuals. Finally, the paper culminates with the development of a comprehensive user guide resource tailored for counselling professionals. This resource is designed to augment their cultural proficiency, specifically in the realm of supporting clients with mixed-race backgrounds.
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    Two-Eyed Seeing: Honouring the Roots of Psychedelic Medicine
    (2024-04) Bowman, Bethany
    Psychedelic medicine is surging in popularity, and the Western world seems poised at the brink of legalizing specific psychedelics for therapeutic use. However, in its current form, psychedelic medicine replicates the same power structures and inequities as does the Western medicalized framework from whence it came. Applying the conceptual framework of etuaptmumk, Two-Eyed Seeing, this paper challenges the supremacy of Western biomedical approaches to psychedelic medicine and instead advocates for a new way of seeing that honours the global cross-cultural roots of psychedelic medicine and elevates Traditional and Indigenous Knowledges as fully developed systems of knowledge whose ontologies and epistemologies stand equally alongside their Western counterparts. I will explore the origins of sacred plant medicines, select principles of Traditional Knowledge, and examine the history, evidence base, and current practices of the Western psychedelic biomedical model. Two-Eyed Seeing helps one see with one eye from the strengths of Traditional Knowledge and from the other with the strengths of Western approaches. This project offers a practical framework to help counsellors in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy braid together the best of both in a way that is integrative and complementary.
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    A Refreshing Perspective on Walk and Talk Therapy
    (2024-06) Dunbar, Alexa
    Walk and talk therapy, is considered a novel approach to traditional counselling where therapeutic sessions are conducted while walking outdoors. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effectiveness and challenges of walk and talk therapy as an alternative form of counselling. The purpose is to highlight the potential of incorporating physical activity, exposure to nature to enhance the efficacy of counselling interventions in order to foster holistic well-being. Conducting therapy outdoors can provide an alternative method for individuals suffering from mood disorders as well as encouraging a strong connection with nature. Many countries have recognized the therapeutic benefits that nature can provide and have created programs and spaces for those to seek treatment. While walk and talk therapy is not a new concept, there has been an increase in outdoor counselling especially since COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are some concerns with walk and talk therapy including the risk of confidentiality and liability and therefore, many counsellors are reluctant to incorporate the method into their practice. The discussion of the research leads to a deeper understanding of the potential applications and considerations associated with walk and talk therapy, offering valuable insights for mental health professionals, researchers, and practitioners in the field of counselling.

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