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