Kara Carnes-Holt, University of Wyoming assistant professor of professional studies, has received the American Counseling Association 2015 Best Practice Award for her research and publication of the journal article, “The Efficacy of Child Parent Relationship Therapy for Adopted Children with Attachment Disruptions.”

The ACA Best Practice Award recognizes outstanding research projects that further the evidence base for counseling practice. The organization will present the award to Carnes-Holt at its 2015 conference in Orlando, Fla.

Carnes-Holt’s original research makes a significant contribution to the field of child counseling and adoptive families. In particular, she has studied the need for counselors to identify best practices to meet the mental health needs of adoptive families. This study contributes to the field of play therapy by adding to its evidence base as an effective mental health intervention for children.

Her findings provide strong support for child-centered play therapy as a developmentally responsive counseling intervention for adoptive children and their families, whose mental health needs are often underserved. Carnes-Holt’s article appeared in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Counseling and Development.

With more than 55,000 members, the ACA is the world’s largest association representing professional counselors in a wide variety of practice settings. Each year, ACA solicits nominations for a few select, prestigious awards that are presented at the annual conference.