Description: At the University of North Texas, and as per the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, masters students in counselor training are required to choose a personal theoretical approach to the counseling process. The purpose of this study was to investigate an experimental counseling theory identification procedure compared to the traditional procedure of helping students identify a personal theory of counseling. The investigation assessed the effect on 1) counselor self-report of confidence in theoretical orientation selection/identification, and 2) the degree to which a student consistently identifies, conceptualizes and utilizes a particular counseling theoretical approach. Volunteer participants (n=35) were recruited from three sections of COUN 5660 and were randomly drawn to group assignment within each class. The experimental condition focused on exploration of personal beliefs related to human nature, maladjustment and the nature of change as a basis for theory selection. The comparison group received the standard theory selection activities. The TCQ and TOPS-R were used to examine the effect of treatment and were administered at three points of time. Data was analyzed using a split plot ANOVA to examine group differences, changes across time, and the possible interaction of change with group membership. Statistical and practical significance of findings were analyzed. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between groups over time. Because findings revealed statistically significant main effect findings for time-ranging from moderate to large-post hoc analysis was conducted. One-way ANOVAs were conducted for each dependent variable to further understand results. Results indicated that both groups demonstrated a statistically significant increase over time in theory confidence, with large treatment effects for both groups. Post hoc results on the TOPS-R Humanistic/Existential scale and the Cognitive/Behavioral scale revealed mixed results regarding treatment effect.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Burwell-Pender, Lezlie