Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly A. McDonnell

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric M. Sauer

Third Advisor

Dr. Karyn J. Boatwright


One of the central goals of counselor training is to promote and ensure competence in novice counselors (Krasner, Howard, & Brown, 1998), and effective performance of counseling skills is a key source of competence for counselor trainees (Falender & Shafrankse, 2007). Previous research has separately addressed the advantages of skills-based training (e.g., Buser, 2008; Crews et al., 2005; Urbani et al, 2002); factors associated with counseling self-efficacy (e.g., Larson, 1998; Larson & Daniels, 1998); the Integrated Developmental Model (Stoltenberg, McNeill, & Delworth, 1998) of counselor development; and video review in counselor training (e.g., Pelling & Renard, 1999; Scaife, 2001). None of these studies, however, have concurrently explored changes in these factors from the perspective of master's-level counselor trainees in their first practicum as they use digital recording and playback technology to analyze their counseling skills performance and receive feedback about their performance from their supervisors.

To address this gap, the purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study is to describe the lived experience of counselor trainees as they engaged in the training phenomenon, which included analyzing counseling skills demonstrations in session recordings and receiving supervisory feedback about that analysis. The present study also explores what the trainees reported about changes in their counseling skills performance, counselor development, and counseling self-efficacy. Each of the eight participants completed two interviews over the course of their semester-long counseling practicum. The findings suggest that counselor trainees benefit from having opportunities to consistently analyze their counseling session recordings, whether independently or with their supervisors; would like their supervisors to incorporate video review during supervision; and prefer specific, timely feedback that is both positive and constructive. The results support certain aspects of counselor development and counseling self-efficacy theories, but also include noteworthy exceptions and ideas for future inquiry. Additional findings and a discussion of limitations and implications for training and research are presented.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access