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ERIC Number: ED554642
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 149
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-7024-2
Exploring Relational Health and Comfort with Closeness in Student Counselor Development
Nash, Sara
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
Counselor development has been conceptualized as a gradual progression from the cognitive, technical, and relational rigidity of novices to the optimally effective cognitions, interventions, and therapeutic alliances of master practitioners (Hogan, 1964; Loganbill, Hardy, & Delworth, 1982; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992a; Stoltenberg, 1981). Within this paradigm, student counselors' relational limitations have been viewed as normative, yet to date relational constructs have not been major considerations in counselor development research or theory. Given the well-established importance of the therapist-client relationship in counseling outcomes (Wampold, 2001) and the growing recognition that development is enhanced through quality relationships (Comstock, 2002; Jordan, 2002), the current study explored the contribution of relational variables to student counselor development. Stepwise multiple regressions on a cross-section of master and doctoral students in CACREP-accredited clinical mental health counseling programs in 19 states showed a positive trend between self-reported overall and domain-specific developmental levels and prior counseling experience, comfort with relational closeness, and relational health in a counselor preparation program. Additionally, self-reported domain-specific development was negatively related to supervision quality and relational quality with a counseling mentor. Relational Cultural Theory (Comstock, 2002) and attachment theory (Bowlby, 1988) provided a framework for interpreting the results of this study. Study limitations included the lack of causal inference possible in a correlational study, use of a convenience sample, weaknesses inherent in self-reported observations, and questionable scale psychometrics. Implications for theory and research concentrated on improving counselor development models and measures to include a stronger relational emphasis. Implications for practice focused on the role of counselor educators in creating relationally healthy preparation programs and ways to integrate relational domains in admissions interviews, training, supervision, and ongoing evaluation. [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; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A