Counselor Resources

National Professional Associations

Below are professional associations which represent the medical and mental health fields. The American Academy of Pediatrics website has useful information on child

ages and stages, parenting, health issues, and various other topics. The American Psychological Association website provides articles on over forty topics related to mental health, and the American Psychiatric Associations website provides position statements on a comprehensive list of mental health conditions and treatments.

Specialty Associations

Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association of North Carolina
If you are a Licensed Professional Counselor, or working toward becoming one, LPCANC is an important professional association to join. LPCANC is the only association dedicated soley to North Carolina LPC’s and those seeking licensure.  It was through the hard work of LPCANC lobbyists that LPC’s were eventually granted individual provider rights to receive insurance reimbursement from Blue Cross & Blue Shield (in 2001) and North Carolina Medicaid insurance (in 2005). North Carolina LPC’s have made great advances but still have progress to make. Do your part by supporting the association that supports and advocates on your behalf. Please visit LPCANC to join and find out more about the benefits of membership.

Association for Play Therapy
If you work with children, especially those under age 10, consider joining the APT. Your annual dues provide you with membership in both the state and national associations for play therapy, a free listing of your practice on the APT website, the APT Quartely Play Therapy News Magazine, and a discount at local, state, and national APT sponsored conferences.  Most importantly, your dues support the advancement of play therapy on a local, state, and national level.

North Carolina Infant Mental Heath Association
NCIMHA is the only statewide organization dedicated to the healthy emotional, cognitive, and social development of children prenatal to five years old. NCIMHA works toward a future in which every infant, toddler and young child in North Carolina grows up within nurturing relationships, positive experiences, and supportive environments. The association advocates education, coordination, and collaboration across professional disciplines and offers an annual training for professionals every Fall in North Carolina.

Therapist Self-Development


The following resources focus on therapist self-development and are useful for counselors-in-training, as well as experienced psychotherapists.

  • On Being a Therapist by Jeffrey Kottler
    Kottler’s 4th edition delves into the personal impact of counseling on the therapist, discussing the impact of therapist countertransference, therapist failures, and other difficult topics in the counseling profession which merit open discussion, yet are rarely addressed.
  • On Becoming a Better Therapist by Michael Lambert
    Lambert writes an enjoyable to read, research-based book about how therapists can become more effective as professional helpers. Excellent case examples are used to illustrate psychotherapy outcomes.  A great book for beginning counselors and also useful for therapists in need of a “boost” to inspire themselves in their work.
  • Letters to a Young Therapist by Mary Pipher
    Pipher’s book is warm, engaging, and eloquently written. She disusses the art of psychotherapy and of being a therapist in a series of letters she writes to a young therapist using anecdotal stories and casestudies.
  • The Gift of Therapy:  An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and their Patients by Irvin Yalom
    Yalom’s brief text focuses upon the critical importance of the client-therapist relationship in the therapeutic process. Although Yalom has been criticized for dismissing evidence-based care and appropriate use of therapist self-dislosure, the book is well worth reading to emphasize how the therapist’s use of self is an important change element in the therapeutic process.

Self-Report Inventories

Do you know how you score on the five-factor model of personality? How about your attachment style? What about tendencies toward bias (e.g., racism, sexism, etc.)? Several self-report instruments exist online which assess various traits; a few are listed below.

International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO-PI-R
The IPIP-NEO is a self-report inventory which measures personality functioning according to the five-factor model of personality, a well-established model measuring normal personality traits in individuals. The traits are: opennenss to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticsim. Regardless of factors such as age, race, and culture, these traits are generally considered stable components of personality functioning in all of us.

Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Adult Attachment Questionnaire
The ECR-R assesses individual differences regarding attachment-related anxiety (one’s felt security about a romantic partner’s availablity and responsiveness) and attachment-related avoidance (one’s comfort level being close to and dependent upon one’s romantic partner). The inventory measures the concept of adult attachment style as defined by researchers Fraley, Waller, and Brennan.

Project Implicit®
Project Implicit® is a collaboration of universities interested in educating the public about implicit association tests (IATs), inventories designed to measure conscious and unconscious associations we have in our minds about a range of topics. IAT’s are often used to measure biases we have regarding such factors as race, religion, and sexual orientation. Click on “Demonstration Tests” and view dozens of IAT’s you may take to assess your associations and biases regarding various topics such as Age (Young-Old), Sexuality (Gay-Straight), Race (White-Black), etc.

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths
The VIA is a brief self-assessment that provides information to help understand one’s core character traits. Created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson, the VIA Survey is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology and has been used in hundreds of research studies and taken by over 5 million people in over 190 countries.

Noteworthy Studies

  • The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment
    Stanford University psychologist Walter Mischel lead the famous marshmallow experiment, a study on delayed gratification published in 1972. Children, ages 4-5, were offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited approximately 15 minutes. During follow-up studies researchers found that those who were able to wait longer tended to have better life outcomes (throughout their child and adult lives) as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index, and other life measures. In 2015 Mischel published, “The Marshmallow Test: Why Self-Control Is the Engine of Success” to further elaborate on his studies and current findings in the field of self-control and delayed gratification.
  • Ed Tronick’s Still Face Experiment
    The Still Face experiment is a procedure developed by psychologist Ed Tronick in 1978. In the experiment a mother closely faces her infant who is sitting in a car seat and playfully engages the infant. She then abruptly stops and holds a still/frozen face in which she ignores her infant’s bids for attention and connection. The reactions of the baby are observed. Most babies try very hard to re-engage their mothers. When they cannot, they become highly distressed and dysregulated, losing bodily control and displaying significant increase in heart rate and stress hormone surges. The study was one of the first of its kind to establish how profound the mother-infant connection is and how disruptive emotional disconnection can be for infants. In recent studies Tronick and colleagues have found that infants exposed to the Still Face will remember it two weeks later and show rapid physiological changes to negative responses that infants exposed to it for the first time do not.
  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
    The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is one on the largest public health studies ever conducted assessing significant links between adverse experiences in childhood and subsequent adult mental and physical health problems. Adverse childhood experiences include abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic violence, parental mental illness or substance abuse, parental discord, and neighborhood crime among other factors. The study was conducted by the Center for Diseases Control and Kaiser Permanente on over 17,000 individuals from 1995-1997. Major findings indicate that the number of adverse childhood experiences one endures positively correlate to a number of chronic and serious health problems throughout adulthood.
  • Harvard Study of Adult Development
    The Study of Adult Development is a longitudinal study that has been following two groups of men over the last 75 years to identify the psychosocial predictors of healthy aging. Groups include 268 Harvard graduates from the classes of 1939-1944 and 456 men who grew up in the inner-city neighborhoods of Boston. Contrary to what our culture teaches us it is not having a high status degree, a successful career, high income, or even good physical health that make us healthy and happy. The profound message from this 75 year study is that healthy relationships are what matter above and beyond all else–the secure quality of our relationships (feeling safe with another, being genuinely who we are, being vulnerable with another). The study demonstrates that having others to depend upon helps our minds and bodies relax, helps our brains stay healthier for longer, and reduces emotional and physical pain. Conversely, those who feel lonely are more likely to physically decline earlier and die younger. Finding ways to embrace love and use connection with others to help us manage stress are key findings. The study continues as researchers are now beginning to study the children of original participants in the study.


    This site is a free web-based magazine for psychotherapists on the practice of psychotherapy. Interviews with leading psychotherapy experts are available, as as well as a wide range of psychotherapy videos available for purchase. NBCC approved CEU’s are also available for video-based trainings offered.
  • Psychiatric Times
    Psychiatric Times is a free site offering a monthly newsletter in addition to offering current headlines and research articles in mental health, blogs, podcasts, and book reviews. Several public domain rating scales are available for clinicans to use in their practice (scales to screen for ADHD, depression, and psychoses, among other conditions)
  • Greater Good Science Center at University of California Berkeley
    Greater Good was developed through a partnership between the Greater Good Science Center and HopeLab, two organizations committed to using cutting-edge science to promote psychological health and well-being. Greater Good in Action provides a clearinghouse of the best research-based practices and articles for fostering happiness, resilience, kindness.
  • Action For Happiness
    Lord Richard Layard’s site on the science of happiness. Learn about what makes our lives worthwhile and how to optimize holistic wellness.
  • Hey Sigmund
    This website and online newsletter contains the latest research and news in psychology. Learn about new insights into the human mind and the way we work, love, play, behave, relate, think, and feel.

Play Therapy Resources

  • Association for Play Therapy
    The Association for Play Therapy is the national association in the United States that certifies play therapists and promotes the importance of play therapy research, education and training. Many useful articles and resources are available on the site; those interested in locating the services of a Registered Play Therapist may do so by searching through each state’s directory. The North Carolina Association for Play Therapy is the North Carolina branch of the Association for Play Therapy.
  • Center for Play Therapy – University of North Texas
    Founded by Dr. Garry Landreth, the Center for Play Therapy is operated through the Department of Counseling at the University of North Texas. It is the largest play therapy training program in the world. In addition to training the center houses over 4000 references of journal articles, dissertations, books, videos, reports, conference proceedings, papers, and magazines on play therapy.
  • Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center
    Play therapist Dr. Rise VanFleet provides a great deal of information on her website about play therapy. Parents will find information about play therapy and in particular, filial play therapy. Professionals will find play therapy ideas and useful articles.
  • National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®
    This is the website of Dr.’s Bernard and Louise Guerney, the founders of filial play therapy. The Guerney’s and their partners at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® offer a variety of services for children, adults, families, and couples.
  • Gil Center for Healing and Play
    This is the website of Dr. Eliana Gil’s professional practice. Dr. Gil is a prominent play therapist and expert in child trauma.

Play Therapy in other Countries

Continuing Education

Local Triangle Area

There are several centers for licensed psychotherapists to receive high quality continuing education in the Triangle area. Our local universities assist with coordinating many trainings each year for licensed psychologists, counselors, social workers, and marriage/family therapists

  • Wake Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
    Wake AHEC in Raleigh provides high quality mental health trainings on a range of topics. Trainings are often conducted by local experts in the area and are NBCC approved. Contact Wake AHEC to be placed on their email list to be notified of upcoming trainings.
  • Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy
    The Southeast Institute in Chapel Hill offers continuing education training and supervision for mental health professionals. Workshops and on-going training programs are offered, including Redecision therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, integrated couples and family therapy, body centered psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and energy psychology.
  • Psychoanalytic Education Center of the Carolinas
    Offering a wide range of trainings by local and out-of-state experts in the psychoanalytic field. Trainings range from brief presentations to indepth semester long courses. Contact the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Foundation to be placed on their email notification list for upcoming presentations, trainings, and courses.
  • University of North Carolina School of Social Work
    Visit the Clinical Lecture Series link for a list of monthly lectures on various topics presented by university faculty. Contact Dr. Deborah Barrett to be placed on an email notification list.
  • University of North Carolina William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
    Continuing education offered through various departments at UNC.
  • Center for Child and Family Health
    Offers training and education to implement evidence-based mental health treatments for children.
  • Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association of North Carolina
    The professional association that represents LPCs in North Carolina offers up to 20 hours of continuing education each year at the annual Fall conference held in October. Regional meetings throughout the state also offer short lunch trainings throughout the year. Trainings are NBCC approved.