Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Mark A. Hector

Committee Members

Richard L. Nash, Kenneth R. Newton, & William A. Poppen


Supervision research has begun to focus on developmental models. The main purpose of this study was to test for possible differences in the level of self-actualization of counselor trainees who are at the four levels of counselor development as described by the counselor complexity model (Stoltenberg, 1981). Secondary questions involved the relationships between level of counselor development and the variables of trainees' perceptions of themselves and amount of trainees' counseling experience. Seventy-nine trainees from programs in counseling psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, social work, and U.S. Army mental health were used in this study. Trainees' supervisors rated the trainees' level of counselor development on an instrument based on the counselor complexity model (Wiley, 1983). The major findings of this study were that: (a) no relationship was found between level of counselor trainee development and a measure of self-actualization; (b) some evidence was found that a relationship existed between amount of supervised counseling experience and higher levels of counselor development; (c) from the data it was concluded that a relationship existed between amount of unsupervised counseling experience and higher levels of counselor development; (d) a relationship was also found between three measures of trainees' perceptions of themselves-­ self-awareness, dependency-autonomy, theory/skill acquisition--and higher levels of counselor development. The results of this study were supportive of the counselor complexity model. Implications were discussed for developmental supervision theory and some sugges­tions were made for future research.

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