Publication details

How beginning counselors learn : The interaction of personal and professional experiences in counselors with an experiential orientation

Investor logo


Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Counselling Psychology Quarterly
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Psychology
Keywords beginning counselors; counselor development; counselor training; personal and professional experiences; working style
Attached files
Description Research suggests that the way counselors work is influenced not only by training and practice but also by their personal experiences and qualities. In this study, we aimed to explore how beginning counselors with an experiential orientation integrate the experiences from different sources (e.g. training, supervision, individual therapy, practice, and their personal life) and how they utilize them in practice. Seven in-depth interviews with beginning Gestaltoriented counselors were conducted and grounded theory method was used for analysis. The results show that personal experiences and qualities play an important role in shaping the way beginning Gestalt counselors work. We conceptualized two main components of counselors’ working style – Personal Core and Professional Extension, and 10 specific types of interaction between these components which were subsumed into two broad categories: (1) cultivation of personal qualities and (2) adoption of new competencies. These findings challenge earlier assumptions that beginning counselors simply imitate their trainers, supervisors, and senior colleagues. Implications for further research and use in practice are discussed.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info