Category: Treatment - CBT

Symposium

Delivery of Problem-Solving Therapy in College Counseling Centers: Helping Students Move Forward

Sunday, November 19
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: College Students | Resilience | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

Student veterans have unique needs that are often unmet by college counseling centers. They tend to be older and have more “real world” responsibilities than traditional students. Student veterans can have difficulty in adjusting to the unstructured college environment, as it is in such sharp contrast to their military experience. Studies show that student veterans are significantly more likely to leave college without graduating, which negatively impacts their career options.


Problem Solving Therapy (PST) is a highly efficacious CBT intervention aimed at improving coping, managing negative emotions, and developing plans to solve stressful problems (Nezu, et al., 2007). Research has shown that problem solving ability is also predictive of academic performance in college students (D’Zurilla, et al. (1992).


Greene et al (2011) developed Moving Forward, an internet intervention based on PST. The present study evaluated the efficacy of the Moving Forward with student veterans in a college counseling center.


Methods: 63 student veterans were randomly assigned to use Moving Forward either with or without the assistance of a peer mentor. Student veterans who have already completed the intervention encourage engagement, and application of the PST skills. In addition to quantitative measures of distress, problem solving style, and resilience, we conducted qualitative interviews to evaluate whether subjects found the website to be helpful and easy to use.


Results: Veterans in both conditions showed little improvement in problem solving skills. Neither psychological distress nor resilience changed. Both groups strongly agreed that the course was easy to use, engaging, and helpful. However, veterans who had peer mentors were slightly more satisfied. The qualitative data also supported those themes.


Conclusion: Delivering Moving Forward to student veterans is highly feasible and acceptable. Online programs such as Moving Forward may be a cost effective, easily scalable way to address the unique challenges of student veterans. The lack of significant findings on changes in problem solving style suggests examining different levels of intensity of engagement.

Carolyn J. Greene

Associate Professor
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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