Event to explore counseling within criminal justice system

Photo of hands and arms reaching through prison cell barsAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, unique characteristics of prisons pose important implications for treating clients within this setting.

Despite the possibility that experience with legal matters might be detrimental to individuals involved, such experiences can also result in positive change.

The Northern Illinois University Counseling Association will host a lecture at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, featuring Andrew M. Sherrill and Jacquelyn Frank. The two will address how to utilize therapeutic moments to maximize the beneficial effects of the law, minimize resistance to change, and move individuals toward healthy growth and development.

A discussion and Q&A will follow. The event takes place in the Gabel Hall Library (Room 01F).

Sherrill, a clinical psychology Ph.D. candidate at NIU, researches contextual factors (e.g., aggression-specifying rules) and cognitive factors (e.g., expected outcomes) that contribute to the exhibition or inhibition of aggressive behavior; cognitive processes involved in the mental representation of negative affect, provocation, violence and trauma; and the impact of mindfulness- and compassion-based processes on trauma-related symptomatology.

NIU Counseling Association logoClinically, he conducts psychological assessments and therapy for DeKalb County probation and jail.

Frank, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at Eastern Illinois University, currently serves as the coordinator for the graduate program in gerontology. Her research interests are in the area of family caregiving, the experience of Alzheimer’s disease and aging prisoners. She has written a book based on her research in the experience of assisted living, titled “The Paradox of Aging in Place in Assisted Living.”

Led by new President Julia Dombrow, the NIU Counseling Association is a chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association based in the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education. The organization is devoted to counselor professional identity development for students in the northern Illinois region.

For more information, email z1688394@students.niu.edu.

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