Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Melinda M. Gibbons

Committee Members

Casey A. Barrio Minton, Jennifer A. Morrow, Karen D. Boyd


Aspiring Counselors (AC) are learning to navigate professional knowledge and skills while engaging in developmentally necessary self-reflection. Wellness is a cornerstone to the counseling profession’s identity and has therefore been an emphasis in the instruction and development of AC. AC’s development can have many barriers both of professional and personal disposition. One area that has been observed as at times requiring remediation and gatekeeping is un-met or under attended mental health concerns. While training programs may work to provide wellness supports for AC, unmet or underattended mental health needs may require more than basic programming. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) has been used to explore the extent to which individuals have been able to reduce the impact of traumatic experiences and rather grow from the experience. Sense of belonging (SOB) has been used to understand the connection that students experience in a higher education system. This manuscript proposes exploring AC’s SOB and to determine if any predictive relationship exists between Trauma experiences, PTG, and current mental wellbeing.

Available for download on Friday, August 15, 2025

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