VISTAS Group Counseling

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.

Experiential Group Training: An Exploration of Student Perceptions

Mary L. Anderson, Amber L. Sylvan, and Raymond L. Sheets, Jr.


The experiential group is a key component of many counselor education programs, with student learning outcomes related to group theory and concepts, personal and professional growth, and leadership skill development. This qualitative study utilized a phenomenological methodology to explore the perceptions of 10 master’s level counselors-in-training who participated in a group experience as a requirement of a group dynamics course. Four primary themes (with corresponding subthemes) emerged from the data including: 1) Affective Dynamics, 2) Personal Growth, 3) Relational Dynamics with Group Members, and 4) Professional Growth. Implications of this study are discussed, along with recommendations based on the findings.

Keywords: counselor education, experiential group, student perceptions

PDF, 397.43 KB

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