VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

A Phenomenological Case Study: The Transition of Mental Health Counseling Interns From Students to Professionals

Rebecca Koltz and Julia Champe


As mental health counseling interns advance through their last semester of counselor education, they are confronted with the task of establishing themselves as new professionals. Counselor education literature contends that becoming a professional counselor is a complex, developmental process, not yet fully understood (Auxier, Hughes & Kline, 2003; Borders, 1989; Ronnestad & Skovholt, 2003; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992). The developmental process has been described as beginning upon acceptance into a counselor education program, continuing through graduation, and achieving licensure (Hazler & Kottler, 2003; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992). Factors that contribute to counselor development have rarely been explored. Counselor educators have speculated at length about deeper developmental changes occurring within the person of the counselor; however, notably absent in the literature are descriptions of trainees‟ experiences during this developmental process.

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