After years of extensive research on social justice and advocacy, Mariaimeé Gonzalez, PhD, LPC, core faculty in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and coordinator of the multicultural concentration, and her colleagues have curated enough content to write a book that modifies the way we train counselors. Her work, Social Justice and Advocacy in Counseling: Experiential Activities for Teaching, was recently published by Routledge.
“It’s a labor of love. The book is designed to help teachers and counselors as they implement social justice into their curriculums. We currently don’t have anything like this for teaching in our profession. Around 75-80 authors submitted activities, so we built it from scratch,” says Mariaimeé.
The book, which features chapters written by AUS Faculty Dr. Katherine Fort and Ms. Dani Baker, serves as a backbone for social justice and advocacy practices used by both counseling students and faculty—the chapters within the work touch base of essential topics, such as discrimination and oppression. The publication will help professional counselors and counselor educators increase awareness, knowledge, and skills when implementing social justice counseling and advocacy.
Those with a scholarly interest in the counseling field can study the effect such social injustices have on individuals and cultural groups. Inside, the book also holds a plethora of activities and handouts related to the eight CACREP core standards. The final chapter highlights activities and teachings for specialties within the counseling profession, which is a unique add-on for instructors within the field.
Overall, the book will educate the next generation of counseling professionals by providing them with the tools needed to develop meaningful careers in social justice and advocacy. This experiential book can also be used by other mental health professional educators to provide lessons grounded in social justice and advocacy.
When asked about her hopes for the book, Mariaimeé had this to say, “When people teach about social justice they teach with a multicultural focus and don’t touch on the actions of advocacy — there are three levels. We were hoping that this book would offer a more hands-on approach for those teaching with a focus on social justice and advocacy” and teach about advocacy on the mico, meso, and macro-level of systemic change.
What does the future hold for Mariaimeé Gonzalez? At present, you will find her at prestigious events such as the National Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference, where she signs books and discusses the ever-changing curriculums of social justice. She is currently President of the Washington State Counseling Association, a member of the American Counseling Association division Counselors for Social Justice, in which she is assisting with a manual for community counselors, and a member of the American Counseling Association International Counseling Association. She will be presenting at two upcoming national conferences, the American Counseling Association in San Diego, CA and the Association for Specialists in Group Work in Puerto Rico.