Daily Self-Inventory for Mental Health Professionals

Regular self-evaluation is essential for mental health professionals. Use this daily assessment tool (downloadable PDF) to evaluate your ethical and self-care practices.

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

The 10th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) suggests taking daily inventory: “A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow.” The founders of AA recommend that a person in recovery both “spot check” throughout the day in addition to taking a full inventory every evening, preferably a written one. An honest self-evaluation can assess for resentment, anger, fear, jealousy, etc. According to the principles of AA, self-inventory promotes self-restraint and a sense of justice; it allows one to carefully examine their motives. Furthermore, it allows one to recognize unhealthy or ineffective speech/actions in order to visualize how they could have done better.

Similarly, for best practice, self-evaluation is essential for anyone who works in the mental health (MH) field. It doesn’t have to take place daily, or even weekly, but it’s a necessary measure for any active MH worker. If we don’t regularly examine our motives, professional interactions, and level of burnout, we could potentially cause harm to those we serve.

“As important as it is to have a plan for doing work, it is perhaps more important to have a plan for rest, relaxation, self-care, and sleep.”

Akiroq Brost

Much of the self-inventory I created is based on the 2014 ACA (American Counseling Association) Code of Ethics and related issues. According to the code, the fundamental principles of ethical behavior include the following:

Autonomy (self-sufficiency), or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life;

Nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm;

Beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being;

Justice (remaining just and impartial), or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality;

Fidelity (integrity), or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships; and

Veracity (genuineness), or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact


The following is a format for MH professionals to evaluate both ethical and self-care practices. It’s meant to be used as a daily assessment tool.

Daily Self-Inventory for Mental Health Professionals

1. Did I cause harm (physical or emotional) today, intentionally or unintentionally, to self or others?

Yes                         No

2. If so, how, and what can I do to make amends and prevent reoccurrence?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Have I treated everyone I’ve come across with dignity and respect?

Yes                         No

4. If no, how did I mistreat others? What were my underlying thoughts/feelings/beliefs? How can I act differently in the future?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. Have I imposed my personal values on a client (or clients) today?

Yes                         No

6. If so, which values, and what steps can I take to prevent this? (Note: professional counselors are to respect diversity and seek training when at risk of imposing personal values, especially when they’re inconsistent with the client’s goals.)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. Currently, what are my personal biases and how can I overcome (or manage) them?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8. Have I done anything today that has not been in effort to foster client welfare (i.e. self-disclosure for self-fulfilling reasons)?

Yes                         No

9. If so, what were my motives and how can I improve on this?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. On a scale from 1-10 (1 being the least and 10 the greatest), how genuine have I been with both colleagues and clients? ________

11. On a scale from 1-10, how transparent have I been with both colleagues and clients? ________

12. What specific, evidence-based counseling skills, tools, and techniques did I use today? Am I certain there is empirical evidence to support my practice? (If no, how will I remedy this?)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

13. Have I practiced outside the boundaries of my professional competence (based on education, training, supervision, and experience) today?

Yes                         No

14. What have I done today to advance my knowledge of the counseling profession, including current issues, evidence-based practices, relevant research, etc.?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

15. What have I done today to promote social justice?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

16. Have I maintained professional boundaries with both colleagues and clients today?

Yes                         No

17. Did I protect client confidentially to my best ability today?

Yes                         No

18. To my best knowledge, am I adhering to my professional (and agency’s, if applicable) code of ethics?

Yes                         No

19. On a scale from 1-10, what is my level of “burnout”? ________

20. What have I done for self-care today?

  • Self-Care Activities I’ve Engaged In:
    • Exercise
    • Healthy snacks/meals
    • Meditation
    • Adequate rest
    • Adequate water intake
    • Regular breaks throughout the workday
    • Positive self-talk
    • Consultation
    • Therapy
    • Other: ________________
    • Other: ________________
    • Other: ________________

Areas for Improvement:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Areas in Which I Excel:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Download a PDF version (free) of the self-evaluation below. This assessment can be printed, copied, and shared without the author’s permission, providing it’s not used for monetary gain. Please modify as needed.

List Of Hobbies

Discover your next greatest hobby with this diverse list of assorted leisure activities, which range from beekeeping to Kombucha brewing to knife throwing to ghost hunting.

Compiled by Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

I developed this list (with the help of Wikipedia, and Google, of course) as part of a project I was working on and thought it would be worth sharing. (Click below for a PDF version of this list.)

Hobby Categories

Animals & Nature | Arts & Crafts | Collections | Cooking & Baking | Entertainment | Home Improvement & DIY | Literature, Music, & Dance | Outdoor & Adventure | Self-Improvement & Social | Sports | Travel | Miscellaneous

Read and be inspired!

Animals & Nature

  • Attend pet shows (or horse shows)
  • Beekeeping
  • Berry or apple picking
  • Bird watching
  • Butterfly garden (Visit one or create your own!)
  • Butterfly watching
  • Be a plant parent; nurture and care for indoor plants
  • Composting
  • Dog training
  • Dog walking
  • Fossil hunting
  • Grow and tend to a fruit tree
  • Grow an indoor herb garden
  • Grow plants from seedlings (and plant outside when in-season)
  • Hang humming bird feeders and then sit back and enjoy the company!
  • Horseback riding
  • Become an expert at identifying various plants
  • Mushroom hunting
  • Nature walks
  • Adopt a pet
  • Pet fostering
  • Pet sitting
  • Plant a flower bed
  • Go on a swamp tour
  • Tend to a vegetable garden
  • Topiary
  • Visit a farm
  • Visit an aquarium
  • Go to zoos and/or nature centers
  • Watch wildlife on Animal Planet
  • Go whale watching

Arts & Crafts

  • Drawing
  • Candle making
  • Collages – Use whatever materials you desire!
  • Coloring
  • Crocheting
  • Design your own greeting cards or stationary
  • Flower arranging
  • Glassblowing
  • Jewelry making
  • Knitting
  • Lettering/calligraphy
  • Mixed media art
  • Mosaic making
  • Origami
  • Painting (watercolor, oils, acrylics, etc.)
  • Paper crafts (including paper mache)
  • Photography
  • Pressed flower craft
  • Pottery
  • Quilting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Sculpting
  • Sewing
  • Sketching
  • Soap making
  • Weaving
  • Wood carving

Collections

  • Action figures
  • Antiques
  • Autographs
  • Barbies
  • Books (classics, signed copies, etc.)
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • Comics
  • Fun socks
  • Hot sauce from around the world
  • Movie or music memorabilia
  • Obsolete tech (i.e. outdated cell phones, tape players, etc.)
  • Original artwork
  • Plates
  • Purses, shoes, and other accessories
  • Recipes
  • Records
  • Retro video games
  • Rocks and/or crystals
  • Shells
  • Souvenirs
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Stickers
  • Ticket stubs
  • Toys
  • Vases
  • Vintage items

Cooking & Baking

  • Braising
  • Bread making
  • Cake decorating
  • Canning
  • Cheese making
  • Coffee roasting
  • Cookie decorating
  • Grilling and BBQ
  • Hosting dinner parties
  • Kombucha brewing
  • Learn ethnic and regional recipes
  • Learn recipes from cooking shows
  • Make “fun foods” for kids
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Make jam or jelly
  • Make your own beef (or vegan!) jerky
  • Participate in competitive food festivals (or just go and enjoy the food!)
  • Pasta making
  • Pastry and confection making
  • Pickling
  • Pie making
  • Raw diet meals
  • Recreate menu items from your favorite restaurants
  • Reduced fat cooking
  • Sautéing
  • Slow cooker meals
  • Smoothie making
  • Soup, sauce, and stock making
  • Sushi making
  • Take a cooking class
  • Tea brewing
  • Try new recipes on a regular basis
  • Use an air fryer
  • Use a dehydrator
  • Use Pinterest for inspiration
  • Vegan cooking
  • Watch Food Network for inspiration

Entertainment

  • Attend movies, operas, plays, and musicals
  • Bingo
  • Board games and/or party games
  • Card games
  • Chess
  • Strategy games
  • Dine out at new restaurants
  • Escape rooms
  • Gaming
  • Go to museums
  • Go to poetry slams or open mic nights
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Karaoke
  • Murder mystery shows
  • Read entertainment/celebrity magazines
  • See your favorite bands/artists perform live
  • Standup comedy
  • Theme parks
  • Watch your favorite Netflix series, but make sure you become overly invested (borderline obsessed) with the story line and characters in order for this to qualify as a legit hobby

Home Improvement & DIY

  • Add a backsplash to your kitchen
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Build a shed
  • Build furniture
  • Design a meditation room, home office, “man cave,” or “she shed”
  • DIY headboard
  • Fireplace makeover
  • Hanging shelves
  • Home organization
  • Install smart home technology
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Paint an accent wall or update your entire home
  • Paint old cabinets
  • Redecorate a room
  • Stencil or wallpaper
  • Update a closet
  • Update furniture
  • Update lighting
  • Use chalk paint or metallic spray paint

Literature, Music, & Dance

  • Acting
  • Attend art galleries
  • Attend literary fests
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Belly dancing
  • Blogging/guest blogging
  • Break dancing
  • Editing
  • Go to book signings
  • Go to the library
  • Join a book club (either in-person or online, i.e. Goodreads)
  • Listen to music
  • Play/learn an instrument
  • Puppeteering
  • Rapping
  • Reading
  • Sell your art on etsy.com
  • Singing
  • Song-writing
  • Submit articles/opinion pieces/essays to magazines and newspapers
  • Swing dancing
  • Take a dance class (swing, hip hop, ballroom, etc.)
  • Take a drama or improv class
  • Take voice lessons
  • Wikipedia editing
  • Write a book
  • Write poetry
  • Write short stories

Outdoor & Adventure

  • Backpacking
  • Boating
  • Bungee jumping
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Go-Karting
  • Hiking
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Kayaking
  • Laser tag
  • Mountain biking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Paintball
  • Parasailing
  • Rocking climbing
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Skiing
  • Skydiving
  • Snowboarding
  • Snorkeling
  • Waterskiing
  • White water rafting
  • Wilderness survival

Self-Improvement & Social

  • Advocate
  • Attend support groups/meetings
  • Attend workshops
  • Bullet journaling
  • Daily positive affirmations and/or self-reflection
  • Join a club
  • Join a gym
  • Join a Meetup group
  • Join a political campaign
  • Journaling
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Make a vision board and update it regularly
  • Meditation
  • Read research
  • Read self-improvement books
  • Social media
  • Stretching
  • Take a class (i.e. self-defense, a foreign language, etc.)
  • Use a habit tracker app
  • Volunteer
  • Watch documentaries
  • Watch inspirational Ted Talks
  • Wear a fitness tracker
  • Yoga

Sports

  • Archery
  • Badminton 
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Biking
  • Body building
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Disc golf/frisbee
  • Fencing
  • Football/flag football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Ice skating
  • Jogging/running
  • Knife throwing
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts
  • Poker
  • Racquetball
  • Racing
  • Riding a unicycle
  • Roller derby
  • Rugby
  • Skateboarding
  • Soccer
  • Surfing/body boarding
  • Swimming
  • Table football
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis
  • Thai Chi
  • Volleyball
  • Weight training
  • Wrestling

Travel

  • Alaskan cruise
  • All-inclusive resorts
  • Beach vacations
  • Caribbean cruise
  • Cross country train trip
  • Explore your home town and other nearby place as though you’re a tourist
  • Guided group tours
  • Mediterranean cruise
  • Road trip
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Travel to all the continents in the world
  • Travel to all the states in America
  • Trip to Las Vegas
  • Visit the Grand Canyon
  • Visit the New Seven Wonders of the World
  • Visit the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World
  • Go on city walking tours

Miscellaneous Hobbies

  • Astrology/astronomy
  • Billiards
  • Couponing
  • Creating DIY home products
  • Fantasy sports
  • Genealogy
  • Ghost hunting
  • Hair styling/braiding
  • Hula hooping
  • Juggling
  • Keeping up with the latest fashions
  • Kite flying
  • Learning magic tricks
  • Makeup application
  • Metal detecting
  • Model building
  • People watching
  • Storage unit auctions
  • Sunbathing
  • Yard sale shopping/thrifting

Note: The Wikipedia webpage, “List of Hobbies” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies), was utilized as a reference for this list.

From Survival to Endurance to Fulfillment: How I Found Meaning in Life

“I gave up on having a future. And I was strangely okay with it.”

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

Without delving too deep into my past, I will tell you that my late teens and early to mid 20’s were not the best of times. They were dark. Lonely. Depressing. I was living a life of chaos and hopelessness. At one point, I didn’t think I was going to survive; I gave up on having a future. And I was strangely okay with it.

My turning point was a spiritual awakening of sorts. A near-death experience led to a realization that I didn’t want to die; and it was either die or change my life. I picked change.

What helped me to live again (and ultimately find fulfillment)? You might guess family or a relationship or God. But at the time, I wasn’t close with my family, I didn’t have any significant relationships/friendships, and God wasn’t a part of my life. It was the following that helped me become the person I am today:

A Therapist

Having not a single shred of self-esteem, I went to see a counselor. She created a safe space and then uplifted me, making me feel worthwhile. She normalized what I was going through; I felt less alone. She affirmed me for positive choices I made. She initiated the mending of my fragile self. I gradually gained confidence, not only in myself, but in the idea that I could live a better life.

My Dog

She loved me unconditionally… and she depended on me fully. If I died, she would think I purposely left her. I couldn’t bear the idea; I wouldn’t do that to her. She played a huge role in my recovery. I sometimes think she saved me.

My Potential

I’ve always known I have potential. I’m smart and creative. I’m motivated and driven. But that potential died somewhere along the way in young adulthood. In moments of clarity, I mourned my lost potential. I wanted to be better and to do better with my life. I was meant, maybe not for great things, but for better things than living out of my car, broke and friendless. When I decided to live, my potential reawakened; it became a driving force – a bright, glowing beacon that revitalized and inspired me.

“You have to forgive yourself.”

Self-Forgiveness

I couldn’t bear to tell my therapist about some of the things I’d done. I was ashamed; late at night, lying in bed, I would think about past events. I’d feel sick to my stomach – then, an unpleasant head rush heart racing not able to get enough air… (That’s the feeling of shame seeping from your mind into your being.) My therapist didn’t push me to share; instead, she said, “You have to forgive yourself.” It became my mantra, quietly uttered in the dark. I would repeat, “I forgive myself, I forgive myself, I forgive myself…” until I internalized it. (That being said, it didn’t happen overnight… it took weeks, months, years. But all was set in motion with that one simple statement.)

Education

I went back to school and was able to fully immerse myself in my studies. As a naturally curious person, learning is a sort of fuel for me. The more I learn, the thirstier I become. My classes provided me with not only knowledge, but with a spark that generated purpose.

Passion

While in school, I discovered a new passion; I fell in love with research. (#nerd) I thrived in my research/statistics class; my undergraduate study was even published in a national journal. It felt good to be passionate about something again; it stirred up (from the dust) long-forgotten loves, like reading and writing – passions I thought I’d left behind in childhood.

A Meaningful Career

After finishing college and starting graduate school, I became a counselor… and found meaning in helping others. My first job in the field was tough, heart-breaking at times, and deeply fulfilling. It solidified what my education had started to shape – I no longer needed to survive or endure life; I found my purpose for living.

Professional Development for Mental Health Practitioners

20 professional development ideas for counselors, social workers, and other mental health clinicians

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

Professional development encompasses all activities that provide or strengthen professional knowledge/skills. Ongoing professional development is a requirement for mental health practitioners in order to maintain competency and for keeping up-to-date on the latest research and evidence-based practices in an ever-changing field.

Listed below are several ideas for counselor professional development.

1 Find a mentor (and meet with them at least once a month).

2 Sign up for relevant e-mail lists. A few I find the most helpful/informative: Brain & Behavior Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and SAMHSA.

3 Become a member of a professional organization (i.e. American Counseling Association).

4 Keep up-to-date on the latest research. If you are a member of a professional organization, take advantage of your member benefits; you likely have access to a professional journal. You can also browse sites like ScienceDaily or use an app like Researcher.

5 Facilitate professional trainings or manage a booth at a conference.

6 Read counseling and psychology books (such as On Being a Therapist by Kottler or Mindsight by Siegel).

7 Practice awareness. Know your values, limitations, and personal biases.

8 Become familiar with local resources in your community.

9 Volunteer.

10 Join a professional counseling forum and participate in discussions. The ACA has several. You could also go the reddit route (i.e. r/psychotherapy).

11 Review your professional code of ethics on a regular basis. (Link to the ACA Code.)

12 Attend webinars, trainings, and conferences. Stay informed by subscribing to email lists, participating in professional forums, and searching Eventbrite for local events; search “mental health.” PESI is another source, but the seminars can be costly.

13 Network/consult.

14 Subscribe to psychology magazines like Psychology Today or Psychotherapy Networker.

15 Further your education by taking classes or earning a certificate.

16 Pick a different counseling skill to strengthen each week. (You can even use flashcards to pick a new skill or simply review!)

17 Write an article or book (or book review!)

18 Take free online courses.

19 Listen to podcasts (like Therapy Chat or Counselor Toolbox).

20 Practice self-care on a regular basis to prevent burnout. Why is self-care included in a post on professional development? Because self-care is crucial for counselor wellness; a counselor experiencing burnout puts his/her clients at risk.

Free Printable PDF Workbooks, Manuals, & Self-Help Guides

(Updated 5/22/20) A resource list for mental health professionals and consumers. Free PDF manuals/workbooks/guides for group and individual therapy or self-help purposes.

Compiled by Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

The following list is comprised of links to over 200 PDF workbooks, manuals, and guidebooks that are published online and free to use with clients and/or for self-help purposes. Some of the manuals, including Individual Resiliency Training and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychotic Symptoms, are evidence-based.

For youth and family resources, see Free Printable PDF Manuals, Workbooks, & Toolkits for Providers Who Work with Children, Adolescents, & Youth.

For additional resources, see Sites with Free Therapy Worksheets & Handouts and Worksheets, Activities, & Guides for Individual or Group Therapy.


Substance Use Disorders & Addiction

12 Step Workbooks (A list of PDF workbooks by Al Kohalek)

Alcohol and You: An NHS Self-Help Guide (25 pages)

Alcohol Problems in Intimate Relationships: Identification and Intervention (A Guide for Marriage and Family Therapists) (Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 83 pages)

ASI-MV Worksheets & Handouts (47 pages)

Brief Counseling for Marijuana Dependence: A Manual for Treating Adults (Source: SAMHSA, 208 pages)

Client Workbook (Source: Substance Use | Brain Injury Bridging Project, 144 pages)

A Cognitive Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction (Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 137 pages)

Community Reinforcement and Family Training Support and Prevention (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 103 pages)

Co-occurring Disorders Problem Gambling Integrated Treatment Manual (138 pages)

Co-occurring Disorders Problem Gambling Integrated Treatment Workbook (135 pages)

Co-occurring Disorders Treatment Manual (123 pages)

Co-occurring Disorders Treatment Workbook (122 pages)

Empowering Your Sober Self: The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery (274 pages)

A Family Guide to Concurrent Disorders (Source: CAMH, 222 pages)

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Toolkit (23 pages)

Mapping Your Recovery: A Peer-Based Model to Help You Through the Recovery Process (60 pages)

Mapping Your Reentry Plan: Heading Home (Special Version for Criminal Justice Populations) (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 72 pages) 2007

Mapping Your Steps: “Twelve Step” Guide Maps (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 140 pages) 2000

Matrix Series (Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People with Stimulant Use Disorders): Client’s Handbook (Source: SAMHSA, 114 pages)

Matrix Series (Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People with Stimulant Use Disorders): Client’s Treatment Companion (Source: SAMHSA, 36 pages)

Matrix Series (Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People with Stimulant Use Disorders): Counselor’s Family Education Manual (Source: SAMHSA, 176 pages)

Matrix Series (Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People with Stimulant Use Disorder): Counselor’s Treatment Manual (Source: SAMHSA, 268 pages)

Matrix Series: Using Matrix with Women Clients (Source: SAMHSA, 92 pages)

The MISSION Consumer Workbook (Source: SAMHSA, 160 pages)

My Action Plan for Relapse Prevention (42 pages)

Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (Source: SAMHSA, 24 pages)

Project MATCH Volume 1: TWELVE STEP FACILITATION THERAPY MANUAL A Clinical Research Guide for Therapists Treating Individuals With Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 140 pages)

Project MATCH Volume 2: MOTIVATIONAL ENHANCEMENT THERAPY MANUAL A Clinical Research Guide for Therapists Treating Individuals With Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 138 pages)

Project MATCH Volume 3: COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL COPING SKILLS THERAPY MANUAL A Clinical Research Guide for Therapists Treating Individuals With Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 116 pages)

A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals (Source: SAMHSA, 228 pages)

Quit Smoking Guide (16 pages)

Reaching out to a Hurting World: Christ-Centered Workbook on Recovery and Coordinating Twelve-Step Meetings (Source: Recovery in Christ Ministries, 78 pages)

Recovery Maintenance Workbook (Source: Pamela Garber, LMHC, 21 pages)

Relapse Prevention Workbook (Click link to download, Source: Mid-Ohio Psychological Services, Inc.)

Screening and Assessment of Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System (Source: CMHS National GAINS Center, 133 pages)

SMART Recovery Toolbox

Steps by the Big Book (122 pages)

Straight Ahead: Transition Skills for Recovery (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 218 pages)

Substance Misuse Workbook (Source: Get Self-Help UK, 46 pages)

Substance Use Disorder Curriculum Modules (Source: California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, 114 pages)

TCU Brief Intervention Manuals

TCU Brief Intervention: Getting Motivated to Change (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 63 pages) 2005

TCU Brief Intervention: Understanding and Reducing Angry Feelings (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 42 pages) 2005

TCU Brief Intervention: Ideas for Better Communication (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 39 pages) 2005

TCU Brief Intervention: Unlock Your Thinking, Open Your Mind (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 55 pages) 2005

TCU Brief Intervention: Building Social Networks (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research, 36 pages) 2005

Therapeutic Community Curriculum: Trainer Manual (Source: SAMHSA, 292 pages)

Tobacco Cessation: An Abbreviated Mini-Workbook (A Resource for Veterans) (27 pages)

Treatment Readiness and Induction Program (TRIP) (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 193 pages)

Anxiety, Stress, & Mood Disorders

Always Embarrassed: Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 12 pages)

Antidepressant Skills Workbook (Sources: Simon Fraser University & BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 72 pages)

Antidepressant Skills at Work: Dealing with Mood Problems in the Workplace (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 68 pages)

Anxiety and Panic Attacks (Source: Mind UK, 21 pages)

Anxiety and Panic Disorder: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 92 pages)

Anxiety: An NHS Self-Help Guide (24 pages)

Anxiety: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (34 pages)

Anxiety Disorders (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 26 pages)

Anxiety Toolbox: Student Workbook (42 pages)

Back from the Bluez (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Bipolar Disorder (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 31 pages)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Veterans and Military Servicemembers: Therapist Manual (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 227 pages)

Comprehensive Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Social Phobia: A Treatment Manual (102 pages)

Coping With Anxiety (Source: NHS, 40 pages)

Coping with Anxiety During Pregnancy and Following the Birth: A Cognitive Therapy-Based Self-Management Guide for Women and Health Care Providers (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 178 pages)

Coping with Depression During Pregnancy and Following the Birth: A Cognitive Therapy-Based Self-Management Guide for Women (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 118 pages)

Coping with Panic Attacks (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Dealing With Distress (Source: Get Self-Help UK, 42 pages)

Depression (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 26 pages)

Depression (Source: Mind UK, 19 pages)

Depression and Low Mood: An NHS Self-Help Guide (24 pages)

Depression And Men (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institutute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 36 pages)

Depression And Women (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 31 pages)

Depression Management Tool Kit (For clinicians, includes assessments and patient handouts, Source: SAMHSA, 44 pages)

Depression Self-Help Guide (Source: NHS)

Depression Self-Management Toolkit (Source: SunCountry Health Region, 88 pages)

Facing Your Feelings (Distress Tolerance Workbook) (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Transforming Anxious Suffering Into a More Vital Life – Forms, Exercises, & Worksheets (Source: A 2-Day Workshop with John P. Forsyth and Jamie R. Forsyth, University at Albany, SUNY & Union College, 67 pages)

Gaining Control of Your Life After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Workbook for Post-natal Depression (Source: Maternal Mental Health Alliance, 38 pages)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 72 pages)

Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder (Source: University of Pittsburgh Bipolar Spectrum Services, 172 pages)

Helping Health Anxiety (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression in Veterans: Therapist Guide (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 116 pages)

ISLAMIC INTEGRATED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY: 10 Sessions Treatment Manual for Depression in Clients with Chronic Physical Illness (Therapist Manual Workbook) (Source: Psychological Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia, 63 pages)

Keeping Your Balance (Workbook for Bipolar Disorder) (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Living Successfully with Mood Disorder: My Living Successfully Plan (Source: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 12 pages)

Managing Depression: A Self-Help Skills Resource for Women Living with Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond (Source: Best Start, 57 pages)

Managing Depression: A Facilitator’s Guide for Working with Groups of Women Living with Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond (Source: Best Start, 42 pages)

Managing Your Worries: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Evidence-Based Approach to Help You Overcome Your Generalised Anxiety Disorder (Source: University of Exeter, 52 pages) 2019

Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Group Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder: A Treatment Manual (Source: ACT on Social Anxiety, 199 pages)

The Mindful Path Through Shyness (Source: Mindful Living Programs, 77 pages)

Overcoming Depression Series Workbook 1: Understanding Depression (Source: Dr. Chris Williams, 40 pages)

Overcoming Depression Series Workbook 2: Practical Problem Solving (Source: Dr. Chris Williams, 19 pages)

Panic: An NHS Self-Help Guide (24 pages)

The Panic Attack Workbook: A Workbook of Therapeutic Assignments (Source: Between Sessions Resources, 73 pages) 2017

Panic: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (25 pages)

Postnatal Depression and Perinatal Mental Health (Source: Mind UK, 31 pages)

REBT Depression Manual: Managing Depression Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Source: Babes-Bolyai University – International Institute for the Advanced Study of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health, 33 pages)

Self-Help STOP Worry: A Tool for Older Veterans (Self-Help Workbook: Calming Tools to Manage Anxiety) (Source: South Central Veterans Affairs Mental Illness, Research and Clinical Centers, 51 pages)

Shyness & Social Anxiety: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (22 pages)

Shy No Longer (Source Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Social Anxiety: An NHS Self-Help Guide (22 pages)

Social Anxiety Group: Participant Workbook (Source: Hamilton Family Health Team, 102 pages)

Social Phobia: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 64 pages)

Specific Phobias: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 46 pages)

STABLE Resource Toolkit (STAndards for BipoLar Excellence) (Source: SAMHSA, 67 pages)

Understanding Bipolar Disorder (Source: Mind UK, 32 pages)

What? Me Worry? (Workbook for Generalized Anxiety Disorder) (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

When Fear Overwhelms: Panic Disorder (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 12 pages)

When Worry Gets Out of Control: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 12 pages)

Worry Management (Source: Talk Plus, 12 pages)

Your Best You: Improving Your Mood (Source: Queen’s University, 103 pages)

Your Best You: Managing Your Anxiety (Source: Queen’s University, 169 pages)

Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychotic Symptoms: A Therapist’s Manual (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions, 149 pages)

Dealing with Psychosis: A Toolkit for Moving Forward with Your Life (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 115 pages)

Hearing Voices and Disturbing Beliefs: An NHS Self-Help Guide (19 pages)

Hearing Voices (Source: Mind UK, 13 pages)

Illness Management and Recovery: Practitioner Guides and Handbooks (Source: SAMHSA, 361 pages)

Patient & Family Guide to Second-Generation Antipsychotics (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 44 pages)

Social Anxiety in Schizophrenia: A Cognitive Behavioural Group Programme (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions, 142 pages)

Understanding Schizoaffective Disorder (Source: Mind UK, 24 pages)

Understanding Schizophrenia (Source: Mind UK, 24 pages)

Trauma & PTSD

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for PTSD: Group Manual (Source: Trauma and Deployment Recovery Services Clinic at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, 93 pages)

Cognitive Processing Therapy – Sexual Abuse (CPT-SA): Individual Treatment Manual 2012 (Source: Kathleen M. Chard, Ph.D., 82 pages) Additional CPT Resources

Domestic Violence: An NHS Self-Help Guide (18 pages)

Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook (Source: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, 93 pages)

Guidebook on Vicarious Trauma: Recommended Solutions for Anti-Violence Workers (Source: Health Canada, 113 pages)

Post-Traumatic Stress: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (28 pages)

Post-Traumatic Stress: An NHS Self-Help Guide (21 pages)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 54 pages)

Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery (Source: Adults Surviving Child Abuse [ASCA], 154 pages, 2012)

PTSD Recovery Program: Treatment Manual (for Veterans) (Source: Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, 75 pages)

Self-Help Guide (For survivors of rape or sexual abuse who want to understand and process their own personal reactions to their experience) (Source: Somerset & Avon, 36 pages)

Survivor to Thriver: Manual and Workbook for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Who Want to Move on with Life | Co-facilitator Training Manual (Source: The Norma J. Morris Center, 115 pages)

Trauma-Informed Practice Guide (Source: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 102 pages)

The Trauma-Informed Supervisor, 3rd Edition (Source: Fairfax County Trauma-Informed Community Network, 84 pages)

Triad’s Women Project: Group Treatment Manual (168 pages) | Triad Girls’ Group Treatment Manual (201 pages) (Source: The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida) (More information on the Triad Project here)

Women Healing from Trauma: A Facilitator’s Guide (Source: Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, 109 pages)

Eating Disorders

Binge Eating: Breaking the Cycle (A Self-Help Guide Towards Recovery) (Source: Bodywhys, 27 pages)

Eating Disorders (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 26 pages)

Eating Disorders: An NHS Self-Help Guide (18 pages)

Eating Disorders Anonymous Step Workbook (Source: Eating Disorders Anonymous, 64 pages)

Eating Disorders Toolkit for Primary Care and Adult Mental Health Services (Source: Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust/Sheffield Eating Disorders Service, 30 pages) 2014

Eating Problems (Source: Mind UK, 24 pages)

Educator Toolkit (Source: National Eating Disorders Association, 44 pages)

Overcoming Disordered Eating (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Self-Help Manual for Bulimia Nervosa (Source: The Cullen Centre, 92 pages)

Suicide & Self-Harm

After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Yourself After Your Treatment in the Emergency Department (10 pages) | Spanish Version (12 pages) (Source: SAMHSA)

After an Attempt A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member after Treatment in the Emergency Department (12 pages) | Spanish Version (14 pages) (Source: SAMHSA)

A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide (Source: American Association of Suicidology, 36 pages)

How to Support Someone Who Feels Suicidal (Source: Mind UK, 20 pages)

The ‘Hurt Yourself Less’ Workbook (Source: The National Self-Harm Network, 78 pages)

A Journey Toward Health & Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt (Source: SAMHSA, 40 pages)

Self-Harm (Source: Mind UK, 17 pages)

Self-Harm: An NHS Self-Help Guide (18 pages)

Suicide Prevention for Behavioral Health Providers (Source: Montgomery County Emergency Service, Inc., 26 pages)

Suicide Prevention for Consumers and Family Members (Source: Montgomery County Emergency Service, Inc., 26 pages)

Working Through Self-Harm: A Workbook (Source: Harmless, 54 pages)

Working with the Client Who Is Suicidal: A Tool for Adult Mental Health and Addiction Services (Sources: Simon Fraser University & BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 120 pages)

Grief

After a Loved One Dies – How Children Grieve and How Parents and Other Adults Can support Them (Source: New York Life, 24 pages)

Back to Life: Your Personal Guidebook to Grief Recovery (Source: Recover From Grief, 71 pages)

Bereavement: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (13 pages)

Bereavement: An NHS Self-Help Guide (16 pages)

Complicated Grief (Source: The Hospice Support Fund, 19 pages)

A LifeCare Guide to Helping Others Cope With Grief (Source: LifeCare, 23 pages) 2001

On the Wings of Grief: A Bereavement Journal for Adults (Source: Simpler Times, 32 pages)

Remembering for Good: Wholehearted Living After Loss (Source: Remembering For Good, 35 pages)

Treatment of Individuals with Prolonged and Complicated Grief and Traumatic Bereavement (Source: The Melissa Institute, 59 pages)

Understanding Death, Grief, & Mourning: A Resource Manual (Source: Cornerstone of Hope: A Center for Children, Teens, and Adults, 48 pages)

When Grief Comes to Work: Managing Grief and Loss in the Workplace (A Handbook for Managers and Supervisors) (Source: AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario, 220 pages) 2011

Anger

Anger (Source: Mind UK, 18 pages)

Anger: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (28 pages)

Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients: Participant Workbook (54 pages) | (Spanish Version) (73 pages) | (Provider Manual) (68 pages) (Source: SAMHSA)

Anger Management Workbook (Source: Seasons Therapy, 38 pages)

Anger Management Workbook: To Address Anger Management (Source: Community and Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) across England and Wales, 48 pages)

Controlling Anger: An NHS Self-Help Guide (24 pages)

Meditation & Mindfulness

Adult Coloring Book for Mindfulness and Relaxation (Source: Healing From Burnout, 51 pages)

The Fundamentals of Meditation Practice (Source: Buddha Dharma Education Association, 182 pages)

How to Meditate: A Guide to Formal Sitting Practices (Source: Tara Brach, 16 pages)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Authorized Curriculum Guide (Source: Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, 65 pages)

Self-Compassion and Mindfulness (Source: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies, 42 pages)

Your Guide to Meditation (Source: Mindful, 26 pages)

Wellness, Resiliency, & Personal Development

Assert Yourself! (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

The Bouncing Back Workbook: Building Skills that Strengthen Resilience (Source: South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, 36 pages)

Building Self-Compassion (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Creating a Healthier Life: A Step-by-Step Guide to Wellness (22 pages) | (Spanish Version) (22 pages) (Source: SAMHSA)

DIY Workbook Series from the Positive Psychology Research Group at Virginia Commonwealth University (All workbooks can be accessed through link)

The Path to Humility: Six Practical Sections for Becoming a More Humble Person (84 pages) | The Path to Forgiveness: Six Practical Sections for Becoming a More Forgiving Person (83 pages) | Your Path to REACH Forgiveness: Become a More Forgiving Person in Less Than Two Hours | Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past (70 pages) | Experiencing Forgiveness: Six Practical Sections for Becoming a More Forgiving Christian: 6-7 hour DIY Workbook for Christians Hurt by Other Christians | The Path to Patience: Six Practical Sections for Becoming a More Patient Person: 6-7 hour DIY Workbook | The Path to Positivity: Six Practical Sections for Becoming a More Positive Person: 6-7 hour DIY Workbook

Food and Mood (Source: Mind UK, 11 pages)

Getting to the CORE of Conflict and Communications (Sources: U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution and Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy, 45 pages)

Happiness 101 Workbook (Source: Patricia Thompson, PhD, 22 pages)

Happy for No Reason Workbook (Source: Happy for No Reason, 28 pages)

HERO: Healthy Emotions and ImpRoving Health Behavior Outcomes (Veteran Workbook) (110 pages)

Hope Focused Self-Help Workbook (Source: The Hope Couples Project, 34 pages)

How to be Mentally Healthy at Work (Source: Mind UK, 17 pages)

Improve Your Sleep: A Self-Guided Approach for Veterans with Insomnia (Self-Help Workbook) (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 90 pages)

Individual Resiliency Trainer (IRT) Manual (Source: Navigate, 974 pages)

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building Better Boundaries (Source: The Self-Help Alliance, 62 pages)

Journaling: A Wellness Tool (Source: Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives, 18 pages)

Manage Stress Workbook (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 pages)

Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself (Self-Directed Learning Workbook), 2nd Ed. (Source: Virginia Commonwealth University/ForgiveSelf.com, 69 pages) 2015

Nutrition and Exercise for Wellness and Recovery Leader Manual (42 pages) and Participant Manual (70 pages) (Source: Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery)

Overcoming Procrastination (Source: Wikibooks, 45 pages)

Personal Brand Workbook (42 pages)

Physical Activity and Your Mental Health (Source: Mind UK, 17 pages)

The Procrastination Workbook: Kick the Habit! (Source: Mind Tools, 14 pages)

Put Off Procrastinating (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Refine Your Life: Participant Guide (Source: Experience L!fe, 59 pages)

Relaxation (Source: Mind UK, 9 pages)

Resilience Toolkit (Source: NHS, 52 pages)

Self-Care Guide (Source: Mind Peace, 21 pages) 2018

Self-Care Toolkit (Source: Developed by SHAWN GOLDBERG, 44 pages)

Self-Determination Series: Express Yourself! Assessing Self-Determination in Your Life (Source: Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery, 11 pages)

Self-Determination Series: This Is Your Life! Creating Your Self-Directed Life Plan (Source: Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery, 58 pages)

Sleep Problems: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (16 pages)

Stress (Source: Mind UK, 15 pages)

Stress: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (24 pages)

Stress: An NHS Self-Help Guide (19 pages)

Time Out! For Me: An Assertiveness and Sexuality Workshop for Women (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 224 pages)

Time Out! For Men: A Communication Skills and Sexuality Workshop for Men (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 251 pages)

Wellness in Eight Dimensions (Source: CSPNJ, 30 pages)

Wellness Self-Management Personal Workbook, 3rd Edition (Source: New York State Office of Mental Health, 210 pages)

Wellness Worksheets, 12th Edition (Source: SAMHSA, 295 pages)

“What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?” Your Life Plan to Find Your Answer (Source: Self-Help Starts Here, 136 pages)

Working Minds UK: Developing Resiliency Exercises (Source: Working Minds UK Dovey Wilday Consultancy, 30 pages)

Healthy Relationships

Couplets (from #ThatsNotLove Discussion Guide Series)

Healthy Relationships Resource Kit

Healthy Relationships Toolkit

PREPARE/ENRICH Workbook for Couples

Promoting Healthy Relationships

The Stages of Divorce

Self-Esteem

Building Body Acceptance (Workbook for Body Dysmorphic Disorder) (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Building Your Self-Confidence

Caring Less About Your Looks (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

How to Increase Your Self-Esteem (Source: Mind UK)

Improving Self-Esteem (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Just as I Am Workbook: A Guided Journal to Free Yourself from Self-Criticism and Feelings of Low Self-Worth (Source: Queen’s University, 56 pages)

Preparation for Change: The Tower of Strengths and the Weekly Planner (Source: Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU, 84 pages)

Self-Esteem Self-Help Booklet

CBT Manuals & Workbooks

CBT Worksheet Packet, 2017 Edition (Beck Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

Changing the Way You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (Source: A Routledge and Guilford FreeBook, 125 pages)

Cognitive Behavioural Interpersonal Skills Manual

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi): Treatment Manual

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skills Training Workbook

Cognitive Processing Therapy Veteran/Military Version: THERAPIST AND PATIENT MATERIALS MANUAL

Cognitive Psychotherapy Workbook

RAND Healthcare CBT Manuals

Simple CBT Worksheets (from Autism Teaching Strategies)

A Therapist’s Guide to Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Think CBT Workbook

Thinking for a Change: Integrated Cognitive Behavior Change Program

DBT Manuals & Workbooks

Making Sense of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Booklet)

A Modified DBT Group Therapy Manual

Open-Minded Thinking (DBT Workbook)

Motivational Interviewing

A Brief Guide to Motivational Interviewing

MIA: Step (Motivational Interviewing Assessment: Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency)

Motivational Interviewing Worksheets/Activities from MINT

Selected MI Practice Activities and Tools

Additional Guides, Manuals, & Workbooks

100 Ways to Support Recovery: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (Source: Rethink Mental Illness, 40 pages)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 28 pages)

Best Practice Toolkit (For clinicians working with women who have had or are at risk of having their children removed)

Borderline Personality Disorder

Chronic Pain: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (19 pages)

A Collection of Icebreakers and Connection Activities (33 pages)

The Complete Set of Client Handouts and Worksheets from ACT books by Russ Harris

Coping With Loneliness: A Life Effectiveness Guide (Source: J & S Garrett Pty Ltd/Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, 39 pages)

Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions in the Treatment of Mental Disorders: A Literature Review (Source: Australian Psychological Society, 175 pages)

Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Shared Decision-Making Toolkit for Mental Health Providers (For clinicians treating veterans, 234 pages)

Forgiveness Workbook: A Step by Step Guide

Guidebook for Psychologists: Working with Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury (122 pages)

Hoarding Self-Help Manual

How to Cope When Supporting Someone Else (Source: Mind UK)

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Manual (Source: National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, 78 pages)

I’ve got to be perfect! Helping yourself to… Overcome Perfectionism

Living with Alzheimer’s: Taking Action Workbook (Source: Alzheimer’s Association, 52 pages) 2017

Mental Health Medications (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 30 pages)

Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency (33 pages)

Obsessions & Compulsions: Moodjuice Self-Help Guide (22 pages)

Obsessions and Compulsions: An NHS Self-Help Guide

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Patient Treatment Manual (Source: Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety & Depression, 20 pages)

Perfectionism In Perspective (Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions)

Positive Coping with Health Conditions (Source: Vancouver Psych Safety Consulting Incorporated, 112 pages) 2009

Recognition | Insight | Openness Workbook

A Roadmap to Behavioral Health: A Guide to Using Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services (For consumers, 25 pages)

Seeking Help for a Mental Health Problem (Source: Mind UK)

Social Emotional Activities Workbook

Social Skills Training for Severe Mental Disorders: A Therapist Manual

Solution Focused Therapy: A Manual for Working with Individuals

Spiritual Self-Schema Development Program (Individual & group manuals/workbooks for providers/consumers) (Source: Yale School of Medicine)

STEP AHEAD Workbook: Career Planning for People with Criminal Convictions

Understanding Your Illness

When Unwanted Thoughts Take Over: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Information Booklet) (Source: National Institute of Mental Health, Hosford Clinic, 11 pages)


Please comment with links to additional PDF resources for therapy or self-help!

Free Online Academic Journals for Mental Health Professionals

(Updated 11/12/18) A list of peer-reviewed scholarly journals you can access for free online. Read the latest research findings related to mental health, addiction, and wellness.

Compiled by Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

This list is comprised of 70+ academic journals that you can access online. Most of the journals are open-access; others offer limited access (with some free articles). All of the publications are related to mental health, addiction, or wellness. I use many of them for research for this blog. The research is relevant to all health professionals and to anyone who is interested in learning more about mental illness. 

Abnormal and Behavioural Psychology  
Addiction Science and Clinical Practice  
Addiction Professional
Addictive Behavior Reports
Addictive Behaviors  
Aggression and Violent Behavior  
Alcohol and Alcoholism
Alcohol Research: Current Reviews
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Annals of Behavioural Science  
Behavior and Brain Functions
Bipolar Disorder 
BMC Neuroscience 
BMC Psychiatry
BMC Psychology 
Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Regulation
Brain: A Journal of Neurology
Brain and Cognition
Brain Disorders and Therapy 
The British Journal of Psychiatry
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Clinical Depression 
Clinical Psychology Review 
Cognition
Cognitive Psychology
Consciousness and Cognition
Culture and Psychology
Current Addiction Reports
Current Opinion in Psychology
Current Psychology Letters: Behaviour, Brain, & Cognition
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Dual Diagnosis 
Emotion Review
Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology
European Journal of Trauma and Disassociation
Frontiers in Psychology
Harm Reduction Journal 
Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Health Psychology Open 
International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction
International Journal of Mental Health and Psychiatry 
International Journal of Mental Health Systems
JAMA Internal Medicine
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Journal of Addictive Behaviors, Therapy, & Rehabilitation 
Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 
Journal of Anxiety Disorders
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
Journal of Depression and Anxiety 
Journal of Drug Abuse 
Journal of Eating Disorders 
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 
Journal of Human Values 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 
Journal of Mental Disorders and Treatment 
The Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Psychological Abnormalities
Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy  
Journal of Sleep Disorders and Therapy 
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 
Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment 
Learning & Memory
Mental Health and Physical Activity
New Ideas in Psychology
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 
Nutrition Journal 
Personality and Individual Differences
PsyArt Journal
Punishment and Society
Schizophrenia Bulletin
Sexual Offender Treatment
Sleep
Sleep Science and Practice 
Social Media + Society 
Social Psychological and Personality Science 
Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 
Theory & Psychology 
Thinking Skills and Creativity
Tobacco Use Insights

Please contact me if you have a suggestion or if a link is not working!

Free Online Education for Mental Health Professionals

(Updated 4/30/20) A list of online education courses and trainings for mental health clinicians (some offering free CEs!)

Compiled by Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC, LSATP

Are you looking to expand your clinical knowledge or do you need CEs to renew your license? In-person workshops and seminars are ideal for learning up-to-date practices and the latest research, but they’re often expensive and/or require travel. And while there are plenty of online programs that offer CEs, most charge a fee.

The following list is comprised of over 50 sites that offer free online courses and webinars. Please note that only a few of the sites offer CEs. However, all of the courses offer opportunities to grow as a clinician and expand your knowledge.

6-Module DBT Course

An educational course designed for professionals to learn the basic principles for the diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder. There are six 20-minute modules.

Addiction Treatment Forum: Online Continuing Education Free Training Modules

Trainings on Hepatitis/HIV/AIDS and medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

AlisoN – Mental Health Courses

Free courses on stress management, burnout, and more

The American Institute of Stress

The AIS Learning Center offers videos and online courses.

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Addiction medicine webinars

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Free monthly webinars. You can access archived webinars. You can also watch a six-part series for professionals on treating anxiety disorders.

Battered Women’s Justice Project

Access recorded webinars on sexual violence prevention and policy.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

A variety of webinars. (Sign up for the newsletter to be notified when new webinars are available.)

CAMH – MENTAL HEALTH 101

Basic mental health tutorials

CDC Train

Over 1,000 public health training opportunities, many offering free CEs. Create an account to access a variety of online courses.

Center for Youth Wellness: CYW Learning OnDemand Courses

Training courses on ACEs

CME/CE Courses on Topics Related to Opioid and Substance Use Disorders from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Courses on opioids, opioid overdose, and opioid prescribing

Co-Occurring Disorders: A Training Series

Free training modules from the University of South Florida

DSM-5 Online Training Course

Free course through Relias Learning

Eating Disorders HOPE

View recorded webinars on topics related to eating disorders.

Free Mental Health Webinars

SocialWork.Career posts a list of free webinars every month

Free Online Psychology Courses from Top Universities

LearningPath.org provides links to a variety of psychology courses

FUTURES Without Violence

View recorded webinars on topics relating to violence against women and children.

Health e Knowledge

Free online courses on a variety of topics including clinical supervision, substance use, and behavioral health. You must create a free account and login to access the courses.

Healthy Minds

A public television series on mental health (and ending stigma)

Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Webinars and online modules on drug education and treatment. You must register to access the courses. Free CEUs.

Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions

Register for a free account to access web-based training (webinars and online courses) on addiction and recovery topics. Free CEUs for NAADAC and Social Work.

International Society for Bipolar Disorders

Free webinars. The site also offers videos and tools for clinicians.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm THerapy

IPSRT is an evidence-based treatment for bipolar disorder. With registration, this course offers a free 8-hour online training.

Magellan Health E-Learning Center

Professional learning opportunities. Many of the continuing education courses offer free CEs approved by the following organizations: APA, ASWB, NBCC, and NAADAC.

MARYLAND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE) – ONLINE TRAINING

Several free courses, some offering CEs. Must register for a free account.

Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy

Free education (CE credits) for mental health, primary care, and nursing professionals. Create a free account to access online learning programs.

Mental Health America

Recorded webinars on various mental health topics

Mental Health Professionals’ Network

Australia-based site. Webinars on topics ranging from complicated grief, complex trauma, anxiety, LGBT issues, and more.

Mental Health Recovery: Wellness Action and Recovery Plan Webinars

On-demand webinars on using WRAP – Wellness and Recovery Action Plan.

Military Cultural Competence – Free Online Course

75-minute interactive course

Mindful Ecotherapy Center: Archived Courses

Several free courses, including a suicide risk and prevention course. Other courses for a fee.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Learn mindfulness with this free 8-week course

NAADAC

Webinars on addiction

National Center for PTSD

Training materials, online courses, information, and tools for professionals

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, & Mental Health

Free webinars and seminars. (You must register for the webinars.) The site also provides free toolkits and other resources.

National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

Sign up for free online tutorials. (An access key will be sent via email you register.) CEUs offered for NAADAC professionals.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Center Network: The Learning Center

Online courses and webinars on childhood trauma. CE’s for social workers, counselors, and psychologists

National Council for Behavioral Health

Webinars on various topics related to behavioral health

National Institute of Mental Health

The multimedia section has a variety of webinars and recorded series.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Health Professions Education

Videos and CE opportunities

National LGBT Health Education Center – Learning Resources

Free webinars and learning modules

National Center for Healthy Safe Children – Learning Portal

Access the learning portal for online learning modules and webinars, along with supporting materials and related resources.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center: Online Learning Campus

Online learning campus

OMNI Behavioral Health Webinars

Offers both free and paid Webinars on a variety of topics, some offering CEs

Pathways to Positive Futures: Research and Training Center

Pathways aims to improve the lives of young people with severe mental illness. Register for upcoming webinars or access previous webinars on-demand.

Psycharmor

Free courses on military cultural competence, PTSD, combat stress, and other related issues.

SAMHSA – PRACTITIONER TRAINING

Tools, training, and technical assistance to practitioners in the fields of mental health and substance use disorders

SBIRT for Health and Behavioral Health Professionals: How to Talk to Patients about Substance Use

A 3.5-hour self-paced course on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for substance use. Offers free CEs for NAADAC and NBCC (among others).

Soar Works: SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and recovery Online Course

A free 20-hour course with seven comprehensive classes that teaches how to navigate the SSI/SSDI application process with clients with mental illness, who are at risk of homelessness, have a medical impairment, or a co-occurring disorder. CEUs offered for NASW.

Stalking Resource Center

Archived webinars

Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education

Free health and medical courses

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Online courses on suicide prevention

YMSM & LGBT

Access archived webinars on topics related to treatment services for the lesbian, gay, and transgender population. You can also access a monthly webinar series held on the 4th Friday of each month. CEs may be offered.

Zero Suicide

Readings, tools, videos, and webinars


If you know of a site that offers free courses or trainings, please list in the comments section!

What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Therapist?

Are you in therapy or have you sought counseling in the past? Are you currently practicing as a therapist or counselor? This article explores what makes a therapist effective (or not).

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC

For readers less familiar with counseling as a profession, I’ll briefly review the mission, values, and ethics established by the American Counseling Association (ACA) to guide professional counselors. The ACA’s mission 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.”

 Professional values include the following:

  1. enhancing human development throughout the life span
  2. honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts
  3. promoting social justice
  4. safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship
  5. practicing in a competent and ethical manner

Ethics include autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity, and veracity.

The ACA outlines professional values and ethics, but for the purpose of this article, I wanted to learn about current perceptions and views. Also, how do counselors exemplify the code in their practices? Using social media (Reddit and Quora) as a survey tool, I reached out to mental health professionals and therapy participants; I also browsed through older threads and posts on the topic.

I read about traits (like active listening and compassion) that are important to both therapy participants and clinicians. Additionally, I learned about negative experiences, which was disheartening. So what makes a good (or bad) clinician?

An effective therapist is someone who…

Actively listens

Is kind and compassionate

Practices honesty

Is transparent

Puts a lot of thought into what they say

Educates their clients (coping skills, symptoms, stress management, etc.)

Conveys warmth

Reflects and validates feelings

Understands human behavior and mental disorders

Is non-judgmental

Sets and adheres to healthy boundaries

Is genuine (and genuinely cares for their clients)

Has a wide range of techniques and a variety of tools

Is humble (and gives advice sparingly)

Creates a safe place for healing

Is knowledgeable (evidence-based practices, current research, etc.) and intelligent

Possesses emotional intelligence

Is respectful

Experiences and conveys empathy

Has a sense of humor

Is curious

Has patience

Is trustworthy

Recognizes and values other perspectives

Interestingly, a few responders took into account a therapist’s personal values and views (not just how they conduct themselves in a session). As a counselor, this resonated. For example, a therapist can’t be genuine if they’re empathetic with their clients, but rude or nasty otherwise. Being a counselor means fully embracing the code of conduct. Consider how it would feel to discover your therapist treats restaurant staff poorly or gets hammered and then drives. It would likely leave a bad taste in your mouth. A good clinician is a role-model. Furthermore, it’s important for a counselor to be emotionally stable and self-aware, which is something I’ll explore shortly.

Some personal values/traits for effectiveness include…

Resilience
Optimism
Faith in humanity
Courage
Self-acceptance
Holding others and self accountable
Self-awareness
Seeking to improve self and grow, both personally and professionally
Self-esteem and acceptance
Practicing self-care

Regarding professional development, it was noted by Lazar_Milgram (Reddit user) that a counselor must commit to “relearning,” meaning re-reading text books, literature, and research to prevent it from fading. As humans, we forget things. We need to go back to the original source of knowledge now and again. It’s not enough to go to grad school; a counselor must commit to a lifelong education. Along those lines, Lazara_Milgram reported that an effective counselor re-visits his/her failures. If we were unable to help a client for one reason or another, it’s worth it to review their file and our records, consult, and then learn from our mistakes.

On self-awareness, Reddit user Valirony, a marriage and family therapist, shared it’s important for a therapist to be aware of “[his/her] own existing issues and [be] either well-processed on those fronts and/or very capable of compartmentalizing the baggage that is less well-processed.”

To expand on this, consider the experience of emotional anguish. An empathetic person who has experienced a personal tragedy may consequently feel a desire to ease suffering in others. Naturally, they’re drawn to the counseling profession; but if their wounds haven’t healed, they lack the capacity to help their clients.

Sadly, some counselors enter the profession seeking to “fix” others as an attempt to compensate for being unable to face their own issues. In contrast, an effective therapist recognizes his/her limitations as a counselor, especially in the face of personal tragedy. They recognize when it’s their own “stuff” (and not the client) triggering a reaction. They leave the past where it belongs and carry little to no emotional baggage. This allows them to be fully present and engaged.

Valirony (Reddit user) also discussed constructive criticism. It’s essential for the effective therapist to remain open to constructive feedback in order to grow. Valirony explained, “I see a lot of defensiveness in some of my colleagues during consultation; I’m no saint and I feel defensive here and there, but I always take a look at that defensiveness for whatever it is in me that I need to change.” Defensiveness is a clue that something’s not right. On constructive feedback, Reddit user Lazar_Milgram suggested, “Embrace criticism – every criticism is a 50/50 package of perceptual information about you. 50% tells something about you and 50% tells something about client.” Providing it’s thoughtful and well-presented, criticism can inspire insight or provide a new way of looking at something.

Ann Veilleux, a private-practice psychotherapist and Quora user, identified emotional intelligence as a trait for effectiveness. “Intelligence comes to mind first, emotional intelligence certainly, a curiosity and interest in people [as] more [than] machines or plants.” Emotional intelligence is innate; it can’t be developed the way a skill can. Furthermore, a good clinician is curious, but their interest is attached to the well-being of their clients. Veilleux pointed out that an effective therapist must possess interest and ability – not one or the other – in order to sustain the level of investment therapy demands. It’s the “interest and ability to have intimate relationships with many people at the same time and not to tire of that.”

The Therapeutic Relationship

With regard to the client-counselor dynamic, an effective therapist recognizes that the relationship is central to the therapeutic process; it’s the key to healing and growth. A client must trust the counselor before they feel safe enough to share their pain or humiliation or guilt. Traits like warmth, humor, and transparency foster an honest and caring relationship. Counseling skills are important, but can only go so far without a trusting relationship.

To promote a supportive relationship, Reddit user RedYNWA suggested that counselors practice empathy without being overly emotional. RedYNWA described how they felt when their therapist cried in session. “I believe my topic brought up something personal for her. The minute she cried. I stopped talking, and changed the topic. I felt she was unable to hold my topic, and I felt a responsibility to ease her distress. It changed our relationship, I felt like the therapist, and it restricted my ability to divulge deep emotions. It was unintentional on her side. However, it destroyed the therapeutic relationship.”

In the above situation, a counselor’s emotional reactivity upset the balance of the therapeutic relationship. Unintentionally, the therapist sent a strong message. The message was that she was too fragile to hear her client’s pain. If the therapist can’t be strong, how can the client? A counselor who breaks that easily can’t be a source of unwavering support. It’s the client’s job to cry; the therapist’s job is to remain calm, to maintain a safe environment, and to instill hope.

I am acquainted with therapists (colleagues and former peers) who occasionally cry in sessions. Sometimes, it’s an instinctive reaction to hearing the horrors clients have gone through; the discrimination, the trauma, the abuse, and worse. There was a time I cried while facilitating a group, but it wasn’t related to anything being said. That morning, I had learned a former client died by suicide. He shot himself in the head. He was only 22. I felt vulnerable and self-conscious about crying in front of my clients. Later, my supervisor helped me to understand that crying can make a therapist seem more human and authentic, which has the potential to strengthen the counseling relationship while conveying empathy.

Some clients will feel closer to a therapist who cries; others will feel uncomfortable. There’s no right or wrong. Quora user Philippe Gross, Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Hawaii, pointed out that even with all the right qualities, a therapist will not be a good fit with every client. When this happens, Gross stated that “an effective therapist should be able to recognize this soon and refer the client to a more appropriate therapist.”

One Reddit user and professional counselor, ForeverJung, touched on the importance of not getting caught up in their clients’ pain to the point it becomes their own (also known as vicarious trauma). It’s having “the ability to care deeply and then shut it off,” which can be difficult, especially for new counselors. ForeverJung also shared that an effective counselor must be able to listen, while at the same time “synthesizing data,” and then provide a constructive response that the client will be able to make sense of.

Redddit user blueybluel shared about a therapist they described as absolutely wonderful. “She was incredibly empathetic and patient with me, almost to a fault I felt like sometimes. But it really helped me a lot with my self-hatred, self sabotage and suicidal thoughts because for the first time ever, I was regularly associating with a person who was so soft with me. She genuinely thought I was a great person just the way I was, and that I didn’t have to accomplish and be perfect all the time just to have worth and to deserve to live.”

Similarly, Gatopajama (Reddit user) described positive interactions with their current therapist, who shares their odd sense of humor. “[My therapist] is serious when the topic calls for it, but usually a session with her feels very comfortable and laid back, like having coffee with a girlfriend. She also shares a little bit about herself sometimes (not in an inappropriate or TMI way) — it makes me feel like I’m talking to a real person and not a human psychology textbook. Plus, she’s got a gigantic bowl of moonsand in her office. Sometimes I plop that thing on my lap and play with it the whole hour to keep my hands busy if I’m trying to talk about something difficult.”

What are the traits or characteristics of an ineffective therapist?

While some traits (such as having a gigantic bowl of moonsand!) positively impact the counseling process, others contribute to nonproductive (or even harmful) therapy. When I elicited feedback on effectiveness, I learned about some horribly ineffective and disturbing practices.

An incompetent clinician lacks self-awareness and insight in addition to the required knowledge and skill. They may have entered the field for all the wrong reasons. They’re rigid and closed to new ways of thinking. Most importantly, they don’t listen to their clients. Ssdgmok, a Reddit user, described a bad clinician as “someone who talks about themselves each session, poor listening and ‘giving advice.’” Contrary to popular belief, a counselor’s role is not to advise the client. A therapist is more like a collaborative partner who leads the client to their own insights while providing the tools for change.

To give a personal example of a therapist who talked too much (although not about herself) and didn’t listen, I’ll use myself – but in the role of the client, not the clinician. I was in my late teens and it was one of my first experiences seeing a counselor (a middle-aged woman). The therapist had apparently just finished a session with a young woman who had attempted suicide. And the therapist proceeded to tell me all about it. Meanwhile, I was bursting with pain and self-doubt; and the therapist continued to talk about the client who had just left her office. She went on and on about how she couldn’t believe “that little girl” swallowed an entire bottle of Tylenol. It was like she didn’t hear a word I said, and I left feeling even worse. (Luckily, that experience didn’t poison my view of the profession or dissuade me from entering the field a decade later.)

A Reddit user shared about expressing thoughts of suicide to their therapist

Jwaggin
“Therapist: Are you suicidal
Me: Yea…
Therapist: You hate your mom?
Me: uhhh no
Therapist:Well if you kill yourself your mom would be very hurt
Me: uhhh ok (thanks for the guilt)”

If this happened, it’s clear that the therapist lacked not only empathy, but a basic understanding of mental illness. An effective therapist never shames or “guilts” a client. The client is already in pain (which is what brought them to therapy in the first place). Also, when a client says they’re suicidal, it’s the therapist’s responsibility to explore this with the client while ensuring the client’s safety. An effective therapist helps the client to identify what (if anything) would prevent them from killing themselves; the clinician won’t admonish the client for their hopelessness. To do so would be demeaning, with a disregard to human dignity.

Reddit user blueybluel shared, “When I told [the therapist] all my struggles, she seemed empathetic, but then got on this weird shtick of telling me to do homework of writing down things I like about myself, in an aggressive, demanding, pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of way, and said, “Can you do that for me? By next week?” I canceled the next appointment and never saw her again.”

There’s no room for aggression in this profession. A good therapist is gentle; they don’t give orders. Instead, they explore, listen, and ask questions. It’s a respectful partnership between client and counselor.

After tragically losing their infant son, a Reddit user sought therapy 

wonder-maker
“I explained my situation about having lost my infant son in a tragic household accident. She asked me to wait a moment, got up, walked to the front desk, came back with a sticky note from the receptionist and told me to come back and see a different therapist at a later date, then refused to make eye contact with me.
The next therapist said to my face ‘Boohoo, your kid died, get over it.'”

In the above example, the first therapist was a woman in her early 40s and the second was a male in his 60s. I’m disturbed by what happened to wonder-maker (Reddit user); and I’m horrified that these “helpers” are out there providing counseling services. The female therapist’s reaction could be explained by lack of experience or skill; alternatively, hearing about the accident could have triggered her (which is why self-awareness is so important). However, there is no excuse or explanation for what the male clinician said. You don’t have to be a therapist to feel empathy or compassion (but you do have to be a jerk to tell a grieving parent to “get over” the loss of a child).

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are many things that positively impact a counselor’s effectiveness, while opposite traits are related to incompetent practice. An effective counselor is an active listener, expresses empathy and compassion, and is genuine and transparent. They promote healing and self-exploration. The therapeutic relationship is also important. An effective clinician creates a safe environment for building trust while providing support. Additionally, to be effective, a therapist must commit to a lifelong pursuit of knowledge to learn new techniques and evidence-based practices, to understand how scientific developments will change the counseling profession, and to keep up-to-date on relevant research.

In contrast, a therapist who is uncaring, uninterested, and who doesn’t listen will never be effective. A counselor who constantly advises their clients or who shames their clients is incompetent and unethical. Furthermore, the absence of emotional intelligence greatly impacts a clinician’s counseling abilities.

Regarding personal values and lifestyle choices, there’s a gray area. Can a therapist who gossips or who abuses sleeping pills provide effective services? What about a marriage counselor who cheats on his wife? While a few therapy participants and mental health professionals emphasized the importance of a therapist’s personal integrity, most responders viewed effectiveness in the context of therapy alone.

Lastly, therapy participants who reported unproductive or even damaging experiences received services from therapists who did not adhere to the ACA code. Conversely, positive and effective experiences were related to ACA values.

Were there any surprises in this post? Were any important traits not mentioned? Please provide feedback in the comments section!

37 Things You Can Do to Live a More Fulfilling & Meaningful Life

(Updated 1/27/18) A unique list of things you can do for personal growth and development.

By Cassie Jewell, M.Ed., LPC

updated 37 things you can do to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life (1).png

If we don’t strive to meet our goals and to improve on a regular basis, we become stagnant. If we aren’t growing and learning, our minds become lethargic. This post comes from a bullet journal list I originally created for my own personal development. While my focus is often intellectual (seeking knowledge and attaining education), other life areas are equally important to cultivate.

According the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are eight dimensions of wellness:

Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships

Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being

Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations

Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work

Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep

Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system

Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

Find additional SAMHSA links in the Resources section of this blog. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Anyone can access free publications, workbooks, and fact sheets on substance use disorder and addiction by visiting the SAMHSA website. Additionally, free online tools are available to assist with locating treatment services.

In order to maintain balance, it helps to have a variety of wellness strategies in your toolbox. The following list is comprised of 37 ideas for personal/professional development, self-improvement, and creating healthy habits.

1. Read one inspirational/motivational book per month or

2. Read one wellness article per week.

3. Take advantage of free classes offered at the library or through Coursera. (Coursera provides universal access to education, partnering with top universities and organizations. Similar sites: Course Buffet and EdX.)

4. Take part in a new activity or event to step outside your comfort zone. (Examples: Join a book club, take a cooking class, join a Meetup.)

5. Make time for an old friend.

6. Come up with an exercise routine, write it down, and then stick with it. No excuses.

7. Start walking your dog.

8. Complete household tasks and chores on a daily basis; don’t procrastinate.

9. Stay informed on the latest science and health news and research by regularly browsing Science DailyYou can also subscribe to their email list or download the app. (Today’s headline? Researchers have, for the first time, coaxed human stem cells to become sensory interneurons — the cells that give us our sense of touch.)

10. Explore an unfamiliar topic. Learn how to knit or take a self-defenses class. If your health insurance company offers online workshops or webinars, go ahead and register for one.

11. Don’t neglect your sleep hygiene. If you’re unable to adhere to a regular sleep pattern due to work or other life circumstances, at least make your bed a soft and inviting place.

12. Improve your posture. (And yes, there’s an app for that. Personally, I think a posture corrector brace would be a better investment. I’m planning on ordering one from Amazon.com and will post a review.)

13. Read a non-fiction book.

14. Take daily inventories; evaluate your attitude and productivity.

15. Drink more water, green tea, and black coffee. Drink less wine, beer, sweetened beverages, and sugary sodas.

16. Practice active listening.

17. Overcome a fear.

18. Identify your “blind spots” and make a commitment to change. Seek feedback from a friend or loved one if necessary. (An example of a blind spot could be a husband who never offers to help his wife with the chores; he’s so comfortable in his routine that he doesn’t recognize how hard she works. It’s not that he’s lazy or unhelpful; it’s a blind spot for him because it hasn’t been brought to his attention. Or, it could be a woman who doesn’t recognize that she constantly complains, creating a negative environment for those around her. Or it could be a man who constantly interrupts; he’s so focused in that he doesn’t recognize how frustrated his peers feel.)

19. Find a mentor (or be a mentor!)

20. Try a 30-day challenge to improve your wellness.

21. Meditate and practice mindfulness. If that’s not your thing, start a new morning or evening ritual. Spend a few minute alone drinking coffee, reflecting on your day, writing in a journal, etc. Find a ritual that works for you and then do it daily.

22. If the idea appeals to you, dress up, style your hair (or get a blowout), do your makeup/get a makeover, get a manicure, and wear your favorite heels. If that’s unappealing, put on your comfiest clothes and enjoy. (Wear your sweatpants like a BOSS!) If you’re not interested in make-up or sweatpants, find another awesome way to treat yourself.

23. Go a week without complaining; practice optimism. If your regular, everyday temperament is already optimistic, find a way to step up your game. (Do a kind deed or give someone your undivided attention for as long as they need it.)

24. Complete a task you’ve been putting off. (Go as big or as small as you want with this one.)

25. Take advantage of TED Talks.

26. Cook and enjoy a healthy meal.

27. Learn how to juggle.

28. Learn a foreign language or sign language.

29. Give a spontaneous gift or help a stranger.

30. Create a vision board.

31. Volunteer.

32. Be a tourist in your hometown. (If you live in a big city, you might be able to find a free walking tour. If you’re local, check out free DC walking tours. Disclaimer: I haven’t been on a DC walking tour, but I’ve been on foot tours in other cities. You don’t have to pay for the tour itself, but the tour guide will expect a tip.)

33. Donate blood.

34. Learn the lyrics to a song (or rap) of your choice.

35. Complete a DIY Pinterest project from one of your boards.

36. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.

37. Send hand-written “Thank Yous” or postcards.

Additional Ideas: Run a 5K (or 10K!) Adopt an elderly pet that needs a home.


Please leave a comment if you have creative ideas for self-improvement!