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ERIC Number: EJ944808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1923-6182
Professional Identity: A Qualitative Inquiry of Experienced Counsellors
Alves, Sara; Gazzola, Nicola
Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, v45 n3 p189-207 2011
There are many recent changes to the practice of counselling and psychotherapy in Canada. Newly established statutory regulation of psychotherapy in Ontario and Quebec, and new legislation in the province of Nova Scotia protecting the title "counselling therapist," are examples of an emerging trend in Canada that seeks to clearly define the various mental health professions. This study employed a variation of grounded theory method to investigate how counsellors experienced their professional identities. Nine experienced master's-level counsellors in a midsized Canadian city were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol. The main goal was to develop an understanding of how they define themselves as professionals, with a focus on what they perceived as being the major influences on their professional identity. Eight major themes emerged, and a provisional model was proposed, consisting of three categories: (a) core of professional identity, (b) key influences on professional identity, and (c) instrumental influences on professional identity. Implications for counsellor education and counselling practice are discussed. (Conains 1 figure.)
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. 223 Colonnade Road South Suite 114, Ottawa, ON K2E 7K3, Canada. Tel: 877-765-5565; Tel: 613-237-1099; Fax: 613-237-9786; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada