Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Counseling Skills Pre-Practicum Training at Guidance and Counseling Undergraduate Programs: A Qualitative Investigation

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Counseling Skills Pre-Practicum Training at Guidance and Counseling Undergraduate Programs: A Qualitative Investigation

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study was aimed to describe counseling skills pre-practicum training at guidance and counseling undergraduate programs in Turkey. A descriptive study was conducted based upon qualitative data. The research group of this study consisted of 11 guidance and counseling undergraduate programs voluntarily participate into study. The Survey Form developed by the researcher and consisted of 10 open-ended questions was used. A content analysis was carried out. The results showed that undergraduate programs mostly aimed to teach therapeutic conditions and reflection of content/feeling skills in the course; did not use a counseling skills training program as a base and mostly used instruction method to teach counseling skills; and implemented paper-pencil tests to assess counseling skills. Teaching basic counseling skills and developing professional identity and self-efficacy were mostly emphasized as an importance of course for counselor education. One of the main problems of undergraduate programs regarding pre-practicum counseling skills training course was excessive number of students. In the light of results, it could be stated that the counseling skills pre-practicum training was not conducted in a qualitative manner within the scope of counselor education in Turkey. The results were discussed regarding counseling skills training and counselor education and suggestions were provided.

Key Words

Counselor Education, Counseling Skills, Counseling Skills Training, Counseling Skills Training Programs, Specific Methods of Counseling Skills Training

Counseling can be seen as the vehicle of development, change and life enhancement in individuals' life. Therefore, in counseling process, a skillful counselor can help clients who want to develop themselves and make changes in their lives (Hackney & Cormier, 2009). For an effective counseling process, a skillful counselor should have some professional skills. These professional skills include different types of skills such as relationship, helping/ counseling, case conceptualization, diagnosis, strategies, and interventions (Cormier & Hackney, 2008; Hackney & Cormier). These skills are described as competencies ranging from the basic and simple level to the more advanced and complex, therefore more challenging level (Cormier & Nurius, 2003; Seligman, 2005; Sexton, 2000; Whiston & Coker, 2000) and examined in different ways. For instance, Winston and Coker operationalized these skills in the dimensions of (a) technical skills, (b) therapeutic approaches and interventions, (c) counselor cognitive skill development. Technical skills are defined as what a counselor say and do in counseling process to help his/her clients. The term technical skills apply to those communication skills, listening skills/responses, basic interviewing skills, helping/counseling skills. These skills involve different types of skills such as questions, reflection of feeling, confrontation and self-disclosure (Hill, 2004; Ivey & Ivey, 2003; Whiston & Coker). Cognitive skills refer to the level of cognitive complexity of a counselor (Duys & Hedstrom, 2000). Seligman (2005) defined these skills as conceptual skills. Conceptual skills are those that influence how clinicians think about their clients and to identify effective ways to help their clients (Duys & Hedstrom; Hackney & Cormier; Seligman, 2005). Therapeutic approaches and interventions include counseling theories and the skills to implement the different strategies, interventions and techniques of those theories (Corey, 2005; Cormier & Hackney; Hackney & Cormier; Seligman, 2006). In summary, it is expected that effective counselor should be qualified in each skill dimension and integrate this competence with his/her work successfully. In this respect, the most important work of counselor educators is to teach these skills to the novice counselors.

This research is aimed to reveal technical skills pre-practicum training at guidance and counseling undergraduate programs in Turkey. …

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