Currently, “no mental health discipline has developed a systematic approach for teaching therapeutic presence as a skill or ability” (Hick & Bien, 2008, p. 179). Furthermore, researchers have found that conventional counselor training programs that emphasize didactic teaching methods, adherence to manual-guided techniques, and/or application of theory to clinical work using supervised training, do not improve the effectiveness of counselors over time (Binder, 2004; Stein & Lambert, 1995; Vakoch & Strupp, 2000). According to Fauth, Cates, Vinca, Boles, and Hayes (2007), the profession is in need of not only new training models but also more training research.
Fauth et al (2007) went on to suggest that future counselor training programs should focus on an idea that emphasizes the development of contextual skills within students, such as (1) harnessing attention in session so as to detect the experiences...
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...room (Young, 2005). According to Geller and Greenberg (2012), there is a need for therapists to be trained to “feel centered and strong in their own self while receiving and entering the experience of the [client]” (p. 66).
The research question this study attempts to address is: What do experts in the field of Counselor Education identify as the most effective way to integrate therapeutic presence into CACREP accredited counselor preparation programs?
This qualitative research question determines the sample size, data collection method, data analysis, and the entire structure of the research study (Creswell, 2007). The research question needed to be open-ended, clear, and researchable. According to Frankel and Devers (2000), qualitative methods are appropriate when the research question cannot be fully solved using usual research methodologies.
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