Clinical Development for Paraprofessional Counselors : A 12 Session Protocol Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cn69m653x

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  • Paraprofessional counselors comprise a significant sector of the mental health workforce (Buchbinder, 2003; Golden, 1991; Nieuwsma et al., 2014; Norcross, 2000). Professional counselors have offered both praise (Durlak, 1979) and criticism (Nietzel & Fisher, 1981) for paraprofessional counselors and the services that they provide. Paraprofessional counselors work under the guidance and supervision of trained mental health professionals, yet the extant literature has little to offer in terms of effective methods to foster clinical development. This current study examined the impact of the PACE-12 clinical development protocol on paraprofessional counselor self-efficacy and counseling skills competence over a course of six weeks. Three groups of paraprofessional counselors received the PACE-12 protocol following a non-concurrent multiple baseline study design. Study participants supplied data at regular intervals during a baseline and an intervention phase. The data analysis confirmed that a functional relationship was present between the PACE-12 protocol and significant increase in counselor self-efficacy scores. The counseling skills competence scores only showed improvement for one of the study participant groups. The implications for researchers included a call for analogous replication studies and improving the methodology for collecting and analyzing counselor skills competence data. The implications for professional counselors that supervise paraprofessional counselors included: (a) a call to structure ongoing clinical development with a protocol designed specifically for paraprofessional counselors; (b) being intentional about providing support and assurance to paraprofessional counselors when they are asked to improve their counseling skills, particularly in situations where client clinical presentations are acute.
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