The purpose of this study was to assess the self-perceived grief counseling competencies of practicing counselors and to explore the relationships between the participants' demographic characteristics and their competencies. The study used descriptive and multiple regression analyses to examine the data gathered from the completion of the Death Counseling Survey (DCS), the Grief Counseling Experience and Training Survey (GCETS), the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (TRIG), and a demographic questionnaire. The sample consisted of practicing counselors from the state of Ohio (n = 369) who completed the survey. The predictor variables included: gender, years experience as a licensed counselor, experience and training on grief (as measured by the GCETS), and personal experiences with grief (as measured by the TRIG). The criterion variables included grief counseling competencies as defined by the five scales of the DCS: Personal Competencies, Conceptual Skills and Knowledge, Assessment Skills, Treatment Skills, and Professional Skills.
The analyses found experience and training with grief contributed significantly to the variance in the scores for each of the DCS scales. Gender was found to contribute significantly to the variance in the Personal Competencies, Assessment Competencies, and Treatment Competencies scales. The variable of years of experience as counselor, specifically the category of counselors who have practiced for more than 20 years (Master Practitioner), was found to contribute significantly to the variance in the Conceptual Skills and Knowledge and Assessment Skills scales. Specifically, Master Practitioners reported statistically lower average scores on these two scales than their less experienced peers. The variable of personal experience with grief was not found to be a statistically significant contributor in any of the regression models. Counselors rated themselves highest in Personal Competencies and lowest on competencies related to Conceptual Skills and Knowledge and Professional Skills. This study helped to identify those specific content areas in which training is needed, including: Personal Competencies (i.e. personal understanding of death, self-care, and sense of humor), theories, definitions of grief, bereavement, and complicated grief, identification of effective and ineffective coping skills, and seeking support from professional peers to manage reactions to working with grieving clients.
|Commitee:||Richardson, Virginia, Wheaton, Joe|
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|Department:||Physical Activity and Educational Services|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Grief counseling competencies|
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