Clemens, Elysia V.
Helm, Heather M.
Rings, Jeffrey A.
Applied Psychology and Counselor Education
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The Counselor Education and Supervision field serves to prepare counselors-in-training to practice counseling. The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs includes suicide training in its standards for accredited counseling programs (2009, 2015). Counselor educators and supervisors have an obligation to use the latest knowledge in the counseling profession and their professional competence to provide counselor training on ethical practice (American Counseling Association, 2014) including suicide-related counseling situations. The Counselor Education and Supervision field needs to change master’s-level suicide training. The field’s previous master’s-level suicide training appears lacking. Recent developments impact the field and master’s-level suicide training, including (a) the 2016 Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs Standards, (b) the 2014 American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, (c) the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, (d) suicide training guidelines and core competencies, and (e) advancements in research and policy. The readiness of the Counselor Education and Supervision field is to provide master’s-level suicide training in the context of these recent developments was previously unknown. The Community Readiness Model provides a theoretical framework for proactively assessing a community’s readiness to address an issue. The purposes of this study were (a) to assess the field’s stage of readiness to provide such training and (b) to identify themes of readiness pertaining to the field’s knowledge of suicide, leadership, training efforts, knowledge in the field about those efforts, climate, and resources. The philosophical paradigm was a combination of social constructionism and post-positivism. The methodology for this study was Consensual Qualitative Research. Counselor educators, supervisors, and administrators (e.g., program coordinators, department chairs, and clinic directors) affiliated with accredited master’s programs in counseling shared their perspectives via semi-structured interviews on the readiness of the Counselor Education and Supervision field to provide master’s-level suicide training. A research team consisting of the primary researcher, two co-researchers, and an external auditor analyzed the data through analysis and cross-analysis of domains and core ideas. The findings offer valuable information to the Counselor Education and Supervision field about its readiness to provide master’s-level suicide training. The field’s overall readiness to provide such training is preplanning: a score of 4 out of 9. Readiness for the six domains ranged from vague awareness regarding resources – a score of 3 out of 9 – to initiation regarding efforts – a score of 6 out of 9. Qualitative findings include six domains with three to seven categories within each domain. A relational model conveys the intersections of the domains. Logic models serve as tools to guide readiness improvement initiatives. Individual counselor educators and supervisors, accredited programs, and others in the Counselor Education and Supervision community will be able to use these findings to inform teaching and supervision efforts, accreditation implementation, program evaluation, and future research.
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