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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    Mobile Motherhood: Assessing the Implications of Social Media Use and Intensive Mothering from a Response-Based Approach
    (2024-05) Kierans, Katherine
    The capstone explores the oppressive confines of intensive mothering in the age of social media. The literature review examines three themes: the social construction of motherhood, mental health in matrescence; and motherhood and social media. The project explored these themes through a response-based contextual analysis, noting the importance of understanding mothers' context, social settings, responses/acts of resistance to oppression, social responses of networks and mothers' responses to social responses. The capstone ends with recommendations for applied practice in the counselling field and suggestions for further research
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    Counselling in the Time of Socio-Political Polarization
    (2024-04-22) Morrison, Natalia
    In the last decade, socio-political polarization has become increasingly strong and prevalent around the world. It manifests as a greater support for extreme views on the political and ideological spectrum and is accompanied by negative feelings towards people with opposite views. Polarization leads to entrenched social and political positions, decreased dialogue, and deteriorated social cohesion. As such, it poses significant challenges to individuals and communities in the realm of public discourse, workplaces, interpersonal relationships, and mental health. In counselling settings, polarization presents as clients heightened emotional distress, interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts, social isolation, and decreased overall wellbeing. In this light, counsellors are tasked with addressing diverse political perspectives, supporting clients with exploration of their values and alleviating their emotional and psychological distress. At the same time, socio-political polarization can impact counsellors on a personal and professional levels and present them with ethical dilemmas inherent to politically sensitive and emotionally charged issues. This paper explores multidimensional dynamic of socio-political polarization in its current state, its implications for counselling practice, the role of counselling in this context, and strategies of navigating therapeutic work with politically diverse clients.
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    Critiquing Therapeutic Conceptualizations of Violence
    (2024-05-30) De Buysscher-Nailor, Ryan
    The exploration and treatment of traumatic experiences is rapidly expanding in the mental health field and as a whole, the topic has significantly increased in popularity over the past 40 years. Psychodynamic therapy (PDT) and narrative exposure therapy (NET) are used to conceptualize and treat client experiences of violence. Despite the widespread use of these frameworks, both are deeply problematic in their conceptualizations and interventions as their understandings are pathologizing. Response-based practice and the interactional and discursive view of violence and resistance underscore the inaccurate language of PDT and NET that leads to the pathology of clients. A case study analysis emphasizes the issues inherent within the exclusive use of PDT or NET to respond to client experiences of violence. The use of a broader set of therapeutic models can address the shortcomings of using one particular model, and therefore, an eclectic approach to counselling will better serve novice counsellors and their clients alike.
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    The Lived Experience of Educators who Teach Students who Have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Phenomenological Study
    (2024) Armenta, Michelle
    Kindergarten and first-grade students who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have additional learning needs impeding the learning of self and others. The purpose of the qualitative study was to investigate: (a) the successes, challenges, barriers, and needs of teachers working with students who have ADHD; (b) teachers' sense of self-efficacy in working with students who have ADHD; and (c) any differences in successes, challenges, barriers, and needs to mitigate the problem of how to teach kindergarten and first-grade students who have ADHD. A qualitative phenomenological research design guided the collection and analysis of data. This study’s participants were selected by using purposeful sampling and included general education and special education teachers from California and Texas who taught students in kindergarten or first grade with ADHD. Conducting semistructured interviews and inductive data analysis led to a better understanding of teacher self-efficacy and characteristics to determine differentiated needs and themes. The objective was to learn about the participants’ lived experiences when teaching kindergarten or first-grade students with ADHD and any differentiated needs based on experiences and teacher characteristics. The responses from participants may assist (a) school leaders when selecting and creating effective professional development, (b) teacher professional developers when creating training, and (c) university officials when developing teacher education courses. Recommendations for future research include expanding the geographical area and grade range of this study. Another recommendation is to conduct related research using an in-depth case study to research a teacher who instructs students who have ADHD and a teacher who instructs students who have autism.
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    Healing Through Humour: A Space for Laughter in a Historically Heavy Setting
    (2024-04-29) Wildman, Harmony
    This capstone research project challenges traditional perceptions of mental health care by advocating for the integration of lightness, joy, and playfulness in therapeutic interactions. Through a personal lens and professional experience, the author explores the impact of humour on clients' well-being and the therapeutic relationship. By emphasizing inclusivity, compassion, and the therapeutic benefits of humour, this study aims to create a more accessible and supportive mental health landscape. This work sheds light on the importance of cultivating a space where individuals feel empowered to seek counselling with ease and confidence, ultimately fostering healing and growth infused with laughter and joy.

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