Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

E. Wayne Wright


E. Wayne Wright


Marvin Fifield


Reed Morrill


Ronald Peterson


David Stone


The profession of counseling psychology has, for a long time, realized the need for reevaluating and improving traditional methods of training counselors. The major professional demands have been (1) a science-based approach to the training counselors; and (2) a more experientially oriented approach to the training of counselors. This study represented a developmental effort geared towards the integration of the above two demands.

Seven experientially oriented modular instructional units were developed for use in a counselor education program. Units were developed on (1) what counseling and psychotherapy are; (2) history of counseling and psychotherapy; (3) counselor attitudes; (4) interviewing skills (A); (5) interviewing skills (B); (6) critical incidents in counseling and psychotherapy; and (7) counselor values, and ethical and legal responsibilities in counseling and psychotherapy.

The Instructional units adopted a format containing (1) specific learning objectives; (2) descriptions of learning activities; and (3) evidence of learning or criteria statements for each learning objective. The seven units were put into training manual form. An instructor's manual was also developed to enable any counselor educator to teach the course by familiarizing himself with the manuals.

The modular instructional systems were field tested on a pilot group of nine graduate students in counseling psychology. The pilot group met for six hours of class time each week for ten consecutive weeks. As a result of the field testing, parts of the system were either modified, eliminated, or added.

The study concluded that the systems approach to counselor education is a viable alternative to more traditional methods of counselor education. It is a science-based approach characterized by a high level of accountability, and it offers and efficient and effective method for counselor education.



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Psychology Commons