Committee Members’ Perspectives on Admissions to Canadian Master’s-Level Counselling Programs: Personal Qualities and Gatekeeping Considerations

Abstract

Counsellor personal qualities play a role in admission decisions and counsellor efficacy. However, personal qualities have been sparsely investigated regarding admissions to counselling programs in Canada and internationally. Also, counsellor personal qualities lack clarity for adequate assessment at any regulatory stage. Our preliminary study explored counsellor personal qualities according to Canadian counsellor educators. It explored how these educators represent and reflect upon admissions at their institutions. Six Canadian counsellor educators participated in semi-structured individual interviews. Results demonstrated that personal qualities deemed important by participants for both admissions and practice were largely consistent with the current literature. Most participants preferred that personal qualities be assessed during admissions, typically through interviews. Overall, admissions processes appeared to be inherently subjective regardless of efforts at objectivity. Implications of the study are discussed.

Author Biographies

Heather K. Gower, University of Alberta

Heather Gower is currently a Registered Provisional Psychologist in private practice in Alberta. She will begin doctoral studies in Counselling Psychology at the University of Alberta in Fall 2018. Her primary research interests focus on the intersections of ethics, best practices, and counsellor regulation and education.

Gregory E. Harris, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Harris is a Professor with the Faculty of Education in the area of Counselling Psychology and is also cross-appointed with the Department of Psychology. He is a Registered Psychologist in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. His main research interests focus on prevention of HIV, understanding and preventing risk behaviour, therapeutic applications of positive psychology (e.g., hope, empowerment), as well as practice, conceptualization, and training considerations associated with counselling.

Published
2020-04-14
How to Cite
Gower, H. K., & Harris, G. E. (2020). Committee Members’ Perspectives on Admissions to Canadian Master’s-Level Counselling Programs: Personal Qualities and Gatekeeping Considerations. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 54(2), 88-111. Retrieved from https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/61242
Section
Articles/ Articles