The relationship between licensed mental health counselors’ political ideology and counseling theory preference.

Given the current political climate in the United States, it is ever more important to understand the role political ideology plays in the counseling profession. Our study examined the role of political ideologies in 467 licensed mental health counselors’ preferred counseling theories in clinical practice. We found (a) most participants reported liberal political ideologies; (b) the participants preferred cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), humanistic/constructivist/existentialist, and mindfulness-based theories over systemic, psychodynamic, and experiential theories; and (c) self-identification as conservative, registration with the Republican Party, and endorsement of Libertarian beliefs predicted a preference for CBT, self-identified liberal ideology predicted a preference for psychodynamic theory, and lower levels of libertarian beliefs predicted a preference for humanistic theories. Implications for research, practice, and education are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)