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Certification, licensure, and therapist education: what does the public think?

Certification and licensure have been sources of debate and controversy for many years in the counseling profession. Counseling psychology, in contrast, has developed uniform standards for licensure across most of North America. Virtually no literature, though, has examined whether these phenomena have any impact on a client's perceptions of a counselor. This dissertation reports on a study designed to examine this issue. University student and university counseling center client perceptions of helper credential status and educational achievement were studied. Subjects reviewed written vignettes of a helper that included the person's credential status and level of educational achievement. Credential status was presented in one of three ways: not certified or licensed; certified but not licensed; certified and licensed. Educational achievement was presented in one of two ways: a master's degree in counseling or a doctoral degree in counseling psychology. Subjects then completed the Counselor Rating Form - Short (CRF-S) (Corrigan & Schmidt, 1983) and the 15 Personal Problems Inventory (15 PPI) (Cash, Begley, McCown, & Weise, 1975). Data from the CRF-S and the 15 PPI were analyzed using multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs). The data were analyzed in terms of three samples: a combined student-client sample (N = 127), a student sample (N = 96), and a client sample (N = 31). The results of the analysis of the CRF-S data showed a significant main effect for credential status in the combined and student samples (p < .01), but not in the client sample. A significant main effect was also found for educational achievement in the combined sample (p < .01) and student sample (p < .05), but not the client sample. Follow-up analyses showed that helpers with more credentials were generally rated better than helpers with fewer credentials, and that helpers with a master's degree were generally rated better than helpers with a doctoral degree. The results of the 15 PPI analyses also found a significant main effect for credential status in the combined student-client sample (p < .01) but no other significant main effects. The study's results are discussed in terms of their implications for the field of counseling psychology. / Department of Secondary, Higher, and Foundations of Education
Date January 1998
CreatorsBeilouny, Robert L.
ContributorsDixon, David N.
Source SetsBall State University
Detected LanguageEnglish
Formativ, 108 leaves ; 28 cm.
SourceVirtual Press

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