Online counseling and online counselor preparation: a mixed methods investigation
Flores, Serena Ann
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The purpose of this sequential mixed methods study was to examine the perceptions of counselor educators toward online counseling services, and the training of online counselors. Sixty-four counselor educators affiliated with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) were asked to complete a survey and demographic questionnaire. Participants’ attitudes toward online counseling were measured using the Online Counseling Attitudes Scale (OCAS). Data from the survey and a demographic questionnaire were obtained using an online survey program. In addition to obtaining and analyzing quantitative data, the researcher gathered in-depth qualitative data through a brief survey, semi-structured interviews with four purposefully selected subjects, and from the researcher’s journal. Four participants interviewed and surveyed were selected based on their familiarity with online counseling and online counselor training. Quantitative and qualitative findings from this study provided insight of the status of online counseling and online counselor preparation as seen by counselor educators. Significant results were found using a quantitative analysis investigating counselor educators’ value of online counseling and discomfort with online counseling. Qualitative findings revealed four major themes using interviews with current counselor educators. Discussion concluding awareness of online counseling, online counselor preparation, online counselor policy, and client accessibility to counseling via the internet as four areas of implications were uncovered.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education