In these pages, Dr. B.G. Nash offers his research regarding leadership techniques for those involved in mental health counseling.
After years on the ground in mental health counseling and substance abuse facilities, retired counselor Nash noticed a gap between what counselors needed and wanted from their management and leaders and in what they were receiving. To close this gap — about which, he says, no current books exist — he embarked on research to determine whether the popular transformational leadership model (inspiration, positive motivation, building self-confidence, and allowing followers to visualize the purpose of his or her work progress) would be a good match for this setting.
The book comprises a formal research report, including a description of the study, methodology and data collection, and direction to other studies on similar topics. He covers the basics of important leadership traits, ideas on how they can be developed, and descriptions of the outcome, nearly all of them obvious; for example, “People will support a leader who cares not only about his or her interests but also about them” or, “Participants [of the study] feel that clear communication contributes to positive transformational leadership experiences.”
The persistent passive voice (“One similar example of gender exploration is a study completed by…”) makes the text dry and bland, and the format is enormously repetitive; the gap in leadership studies and the application to mental health professionals is mentioned dozens of times. Also, when Nash describes the leadership traits he believes are critical, they are indistinguishable from those prescribed for business leaders, undercutting his assertion that the two types of professionals need separate research to guide their development.
In sum, this is a purely academic project with no likely trade audience. But even academics interested in the topic will be disappointed to find little that’s new here.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.