Community and Public Arena Advocacy Training Challenges, Supports, and Recommendations in Counseling Psychology: A Participatory Qualitative Inquiry
AbstractDespite a continuing need for clinicians to engage in socially-‐just practice that addresses systemic factors impacting the mental health of clients through advocacy, there are often limited formalized opportunities for doctoral counseling psychology students to be exposed to and to engage in community or public arena advocacy. Two counseling psychology faculty members initiated and supervised a Participatory Action Research (PAR) team comprised of six advanced counseling psychology doctoral students and three early career counseling psychologists with experience conducting community and public arena advocacy. The nine PAR team members explored the doctoral students’ experiences conducting advocacy during their doctoral training and the resulting qualitative data was analyzed using a content analysis methodology. The study results highlight the challenges inherent in facilitating and conducting these types of advocacy training activities, discuss essential supports provided by their doctoral programs, and offer recommendations to counseling psychology faculty interested in preparing their students to engage in this work.
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