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ERIC Number: ED521495
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 210
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-3184-6
Theoretical Counseling Orientation: An Initial Aspect of Professional Orientation and Identity
Jackson, James Lloyd, Jr.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Alabama
The literature on counselor development suggests that the development of a professional identity is a fundamental aspect of counselor training. The unique demands placed on counselors to integrate aspects of both personal and professional identity into the therapeutic process (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1995) make development of a professional identity a critical component of the training of counseling practitioners. An examination of the counselor development literature suggests that the processes of developing an integrated professional identity converge with the processes by which counseling students align with a theoretical orientation. Furthermore, the significant impact of theoretical orientation on clinical work suggests that the articulation of a personal theoretical orientation is an essential component of professional identity development for counselors. The current study examined how a graduate course emphasizing a review of counseling theories impacted the identity statuses of graduate counseling students from the beginning to the end of a semester. Participants were enrolled in a counselor education program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Identity status was explored using the identity status model of James Marcia (1964) which consists of four identity statuses, Diffusion, Foreclosure, Moratorium, and Achievement. These statuses are based on the dimensions of Exploration and Commitment in Erik Erikson's (1950) fifth stage of psychosocial development, Identity vs. Identity Diffusion. Specifically, this study investigated how the process of articulating a theoretical orientation impacted levels of Exploration, Commitment, and the identity statuses of graduate students enrolled in coursework in counseling theories. Empirical evidence of counseling student development as an outcome of this curricular activity was examined through a single group pretest-posttest design using the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ), which was administered at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the theories coursework within a given semester. An analysis of Exploration mean scores, Commitment mean scores, and identity status categories found no statistically significant differences between the T1 and T2 administrations of the EIPQ. A discussion of the findings is included, with implications for counselor educators as well as recommendations for further research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A