graduate education

Warning: This course may cause emotional distress

For Monitor on Psychology July/August 2014:

We know about them from “Dpointateline” stories on kidnappings and from gory shows such as “Game of Thrones.” But trigger warnings — the messages that alert viewers of disturbing material such as rape or violence — may now have a place in the classroom.

The University of California, Santa Barbara, student government has issued a guideline asking faculty to include warnings in syllabi. The goal is to allow students who may have experienced traumas to miss classes that have emotionally upsetting material without affecting their grades. Other students, including those at Rutgers University and Oberlin College have raised similar concerns over content.

But trigger warnings are controversial. As soon as Santa Barbara students issued their guideline, free speech groups and the media criticized them as a generation that needed to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. They also raised the question of where to draw the line. Would a professor teaching “The Great Gatsby” now need to warn students about violent content, as recommended by one Rutgers University student? Read More


Will that student be able to practice?

For Monitor on Psychology July/August 2014

Even the best of students can miss a deadline. But what if a student is perpetually tardy, appears to be just skating by or doesn’t quite grasp the specifics of personal-professional boundaries?

Such behaviors among psychology graduate students are uncommon. But for a handful of students, they are a serious problem — and if they persist, they may lead to professional problems that could harm future clients. Read more


Gatekeepers for the profession

Online exclusive for Counseling Today: 


Imagine you are a counselor educator sitting down to read the morning  paper and find a mug shot of one of your counseling students on thefront  page. Or perhaps while attempting to complete an assignment for a  substance abuse course, one of your students attends an Alcoholics  Anonymous meeting and steals the spotlight by impersonating someone  struggling with alcoholism. Or maybe in your family counseling course, a particular student insists on regaling the class with endless stories about his parents’ harrowing divorce.

Read more.