Counseling Injured Female Student-Athletes: A Discussion of Clinical Interventions

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Mildred Mary Witt Chapel Hill, NC

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Sustaining an injury can be traumatic for a collegiate student-athlete. Serious injuries are often accompanied by complex emotional and psychological responses that warrant a mental health consultation and clinical intervention. Anxiety and stress-related concerns are increasingly prevalent in the student-athlete population, particularly among female student-athletes. This paper reviews the relevant injury, sports psychology, and counseling literature pertaining to student-athletes, with a focus on female collegiate athletes. Utilizing a hypothetical case illustration, the counseling needs of the injured female student-athlete are discussed. Three therapeutic interventions: expressive writing, cognitive processing therapy, and Koru Meditation, an evidencedbased curriculum for teaching mindfulness skills, are proposed to reduce anxiety, injury-related stress, and other mental health concerns in this population.

Witt is a clinical psychologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Address author correspondence to Mildred Mary Witt at
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