Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Counselor Education

Date of Defense

12-3-2012

Graduate Advisor

Mary Lee Nelson, Ph.D.

Co-Advisor

Susan Kashubeck-West

Committee

David B. Robertson, Ph.D.

R. Rocco Cottone

Abstract

This paper consists of a concurrent multiple baseline across participants study that measured the effects of behavior analytic techniques to teach three counselor trainees basic counseling skills. The literature surrounding the development of basic counseling skills is reviewed in addition to the use of single case designs in counseling and counselor supervision. The literature surrounding combining behavior analysis and counseling research methodologies is also examined. Results indicated that a behavior analytic approach to basic skills training was an effective means for increasing targeted basic counseling skills. The supervisory working alliance between the principal investigator and all participants was measured and was consistently rated very high throughout the course of the study, and implications for intensive skills training are discussed in light of a strong working alliance between the supervisor and supervisees. Behavior analytic learning techniques that may have impacted supervisee learning in this study are also discussed. One unexpected finding is that two participants in the study were noted to lose skills during baseline before beginning the intervention phase. In addition, the use of asking open questions and paraphrasing were the two easiest basic skills to acquire while the use of silence was the most difficult counseling skill for trainees to acquire.

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