SAGE Journal Articles
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Heeding the call to the profession, the authors present both a definition and model of counseling competence. Undergirding the model are 15 foundational principles. The authors conceptualize counseling competence as more complex and nuanced than do traditional microskills models and include cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. The model consists of 4 superordinate competencies—determining therapeutic outcomes, facilitating therapeutic outcomes, evaluating therapeutic outcomes, and sustaining therapeutic outcomes—and 12 subordinate competencies: self-appraisal/self-evaluating, structuring the therapy, building a therapeutic alliance, applying a conceptual map of therapeutic change, using therapeutic techniques, self-correcting, surmounting obstacles, leveraging opportunities, managing special situations, working with other systems of care, consulting other sources, and terminating therapy. Integral to the model is the integrated deep structure, which consists of 5 metacognitions: purposefulness, motivation, selection, sequencing, and timing.
Questions to Consider:
- What are the four superordinate competencies detailed in this article?
- How can you create a plan for your field placement experience that moves past fostering microskills and knowledge, to opportunities which provide experience in these competencies?
- One of the subordinate competencies is self-appraisal or self evaluation. What are the other eleven subordinate competencies and how can a continuous system of self appraisal help you to gain greater competence in all twelve areas?
- What are the five metacognitions embedded in the deep structure of this model? Can you identify which are personal strengths for you and which are growth areas for your field placement experience?
Working from their proposed model of counseling competence, the authors address critical implications and applications of the model. First, they present a 10-parameter juxtaposition of the model of counseling competence and the microskills training model, including points of comparision and contrast. Second, they discuss implications of the model for practice, including guidelines for teaching and an application exercise. Third, they discuss implications of the model for research, including improvements over design flaws and the limited focus that has typified research on microskills training.
Questions to Consider:
- What are the 10 parameters of juxtaposition which the authors use to compare and contrast the counseling competence model with a microskills training model?
- Evaluate the Case of Jane used as an application exercise in this model and detail which model of helping Jane reflects the training you have received in your graduate program.
- Are there aspects of other models that you would like to incorporate in your work at your training site? Does your site supervisor work from a model that is different from the one used in your graduate program?
- As you enter this field placement, are you more focused on continuing development of your microskills, or are your growth areas more embedded in larger competencies as described in this article?
- Prepare a list of your growth area goals (microskills and/or counseling competencies) to share with your site supervisor and against which you can compare your progress.
Swank, J. M., & Lambie, G. W. (2012). The Assessment of CACREP Core Curricular Areas and Student Learning Outcomes Using the Counseling Competencies Scale. Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, 3(2), 116-127.
Counselor education programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) are required to evaluate student learning outcomes (SLOs) aligned with CACREP Standards. Additionally, counselor educators have the ethical responsibility to remediate student deficiencies and gatekeep for the profession. The Counseling Competencies scale (CCS) is an instrument designed to assess counseling competencies in the CACREP core curricular areas and SLOs. The authors discuss the use of the CCS to measure CACREP objectives and SLOs within the counselor education curriculum.
Questions to Consider:
- Using Figure 1 on page 121 of this article, check off the boxes on the extreme left that represent areas of strength for you as an emerging counselor. Highlight those that are growth areas for your field placement experience. Based on these, which of the five factors requires the most attention for continued growth in your placement?
- In your opinion, did your counselor preparation program cover all of the competencies deemed essential by CACREP? If not, what is your personal remediation plan foster these for yourself?
- What do the authors mean when they state “Additionally, counselor educators have the ethical responsibility to remediate student deficiencies and gatekeep for the profession” and what “gates” have you passed through on your journey thus far?