A Training Model for the Development of Neuroscience-Informed Counseling Competencies

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The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) standards of practice contain the only comprehensive currently existing set of standards for neuroscience-informed counseling. While these competencies exist, titled the Biological Basis of Behavior Standards, little direction has been provided to counselor education programs or current practitioners about how counselors should best develop these competences. An AMHCA Neuroscience Taskforce was commissioned by AMHCA President-Elect Eric Beeson in 2017 to develop a pilot neuroscience training program for counselors that addressed the AMHCA Biological Basis of Behavior Standards. During the first year, the taskforce recognized that a training model was needed to outline the training content and sequence that counselors should complete before a pilot training program could be developed. In this article, taskforce members describe the training model and discuss directions for implementation of this training model by counselor education programs and continuing education providers.