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Theoretical counseling orientation: An initial aspect of professional orientation and identity

Dissertation
Author: Jr. James Lloyd Jackson
Abstract:
The literature on counselor development suggests that the development of a professional identity is a fundamental aspect of counselor training. The unique demands placed on counselors to integrate aspects of both personal and professional identity into the therapeutic process (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1995) make development of a professional identity a critical component of the training of counseling practitioners. An examination of the counselor development literature suggests that the processes of developing an integrated professional identity converge with the processes by which counseling students align with a theoretical orientation. Furthermore, the significant impact of theoretical orientation on clinical work suggests that the articulation of a personal theoretical orientation is an essential component of professional identity development for counselors. The current study examined how a graduate course emphasizing a review of counseling theories impacted the identity statuses of graduate counseling students from the beginning to the end of a semester. Participants were enrolled in a counselor education program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Identity status was explored using the identity status model of James Marcia (1964) which consists of four identity statuses, Diffusion, Foreclosure, Moratorium, and Achievement. These statuses are based on the dimensions of Exploration and Commitment in Erik Erikson's (1950) fifth stage of psychosocial development, Identity vs. Identity Diffusion. Specifically, this study investigated how the process of articulating a theoretical orientation impacted levels of Exploration, Commitment, and the identity statuses of graduate students enrolled in coursework in counseling theories. Empirical evidence of counseling student development as an outcome of this curricular activity was examined through a single group pretest-posttest design using the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ), which was administered at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the theories coursework within a given semester. An analysis of Exploration mean scores, Commitment mean scores, and identity status categories found no statistically significant differences between the T1 and T2 administrations of the EIPQ. A discussion of the findings is included, with implications for counselor educators as well as recommendations for further research.

TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………….………...ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ……………………………………………………………………...iv LIST OF APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………….….viii LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………………………………………..ix LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………….……x CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………….…...1 Statement of the Problem………………………………………………………………………….3 Purpose of the Study………………………………………………………………………………6 Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………………………..7 Research Questions……………………………………………………………………………….9 Limitations……………………………………………………………………………………….10 Assumptions……………………………………………………………………………………...11 Organization of the Remainder of the Study…………………………………………….………11 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE…………………..….………………………12 Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development…………………………………………….......12 James Marcia’s Ego Identity Status Model……………………………………………………...19 Ego Identity Development Research…………………………………………………………….26 Counselor Identity Development in Context: A Brief History of the Development of the American Counseling Association………………………………………………………….........30 Developmental Supervision and Training: Models and Findings………………………………..42

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Theoretical Models of Counseling: An Overview ……………………………….….…………..55 Theoretical Orientation: An Aspect of Identity Development….………………….……………74 Synthesis of Related Literature…………………………………………………………………..79

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY……………………………………………………….….…86 Participants…………………………………………………………………………………….…87 Treatment…………………………………………………………………..…………………….88 Instrumentation…………………………………………………………………………………..88 Research Design………………………………………………………………………………….96 Procedures………………………………………………………………………………………..96 Research Questions……………………………………………………………………………..100 Data Analysis…………………………………………………………………………………...100 Pilot Study……………..……………………………………………………………………….101 Pending Chapters………………………….……………………………………………………110 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS……………………………………………………………………..111 Participants……………………………………………………………………………………..111 Research Questions…………………………………………………………………………….112 Analysis of the Data……………………………………………………………………………113 Summary………………………………………………………………………………………..119 CHAPTER V: SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS………………..121 Summary………………………………………………………………………………………..121 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………………....122 Recommendations………………………………………………………………………………129 REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………132

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APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………………….........144

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LIST OF APPENDICES APPENDIX A: COUNSELING THEORIES COURSE SYLLABUS……………………….. 145 APPENDIX B: THE EGO IDENTITY PROCESS QUESTIONNAIRE (EIPQ)………….…..155 APPENDIX C: PERMISSION TO USE THE EIPQ………..………………………………….159

APPENDIX D: UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IRB APPROVAL FOR PILOT STUDY…...161

APPENDIX E: UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IRB APPROVAL FOR STUDY……………164

APPENDIX F: INVITATION TO CACREP ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS………………167 APPENDIX G: LETTER TO PARTICIPATING INSITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS…….169 APPENDIX H: NIH CERTIFICATE…………………………………………………………..171 APPENDIX I: PROCEDURE SECTION………………………………………………………173 APPENDIX J: CONSENT FORM……………………………………………………………..178 APPENDIX K: LETTER TO INSTRUCTORS FOR DATA COLLECTION PACKET……...182 APPENDIX L: PROCEDURE LIST FOR DATA COLLECTION PACKET………………...184 APPENDIX M: RECRUITMENT SCRIPT……………………………………………………186 APPENDIX N: E-MAIL REMINDER TO INSTRUCTORS FOR T2 EIPQ………………….189 APPENDIX O: DATA MANAGEMENT PLAN……………………………………………...191 APPENDIX P: 2001 CACREP STANDARDS SECTION K………………………………….193

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LIST OF TABLES 1. Identity Status Classifications Based on Exploration and Commitment………………...20 2. Exploration and Commitment Scores for EIPQ T1 and T2 administrations…………...104 3. Summary of Participant T1 Scale Scores, Mean Scores, Scale Ranks, and

Identity Status………………………………………………………………………….105

4. Summary of Participant T2 Scale Scores, Mean Scores, Scale Ranks, and

Identity Status……………………………………………………………………….…106

5. Summary of Participant Identity Statuses at T1 and T2………………………….….…107

6. Exploration and Commitment Subscale Means and Standard Deviations……………..115

7. Paired Samples Tests of the Differences in Means……………………………………..115

8. Identity Status Frequencies at the T1 Administration of the EIPQ…………………….116

9. Identity Status Frequencies at the T2 Administration of the EIPQ…………………….117

10. Summary of Participant T1 and T2 Identity Status Classifications and Changes……...118

11. McNemar-Bowker Test of Marginal Homogeneity…………………………………….118

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LIST OF FIGURES 1. Recycling Identity Formation Process………………………………………………….49 2. The Substantive Theory Process for the Blending of Influences………………………53 3. Influences on Theoretical Orientation Development…………………………………..75 4. Identity Status Assignment by Levels of Exploration and Commitment……………....91

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Establishing a professional identity is an important aspect of development for helping professionals such as physicians (Broadhead, 1983), educators (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999), and counselors (Auxier, Hughes, & Kline, 2003; Brott & Myers, 1999). Professional identity has been associated with a variety of activities and functions in helping fields including selected interventions (Brott & Myers, 1999; Enyedy, Golberg, & Welsh, 2005; O’Flynn & Britten, 2006), ethical decision-making (Mabe & Rollin, 1986; Sider, 1986; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1995), and career longevity (Kremer-Hayon, Faraj, & Wubbells, 2002; Onyett, Pillinger, & Muijen, 1997; Sleegers, 1999). Ekstein and Wallerstein (1958) contended that Professional training, if it truly succeeds, leads to a psychologic amalgamation of the person with the function that he is to perform. We speak then not of having a job, but of being a member of a profession. Professional people are strongly identified with what they do… (p. 66). The unique demands placed on counselors to incorporate aspects of both personal and professional identity into the therapeutic process (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1995; Toporek, 2001) make the integration of a professional identity a critical component of the training of counseling practitioners. Many models of counselor training conceptualize counselor preparation as a developmental process (Auxier et al., 2003; Brott & Meyers, 1999; Hayes & Paisley, 2002; McAuliffe & Eriksen, 2000; Nelson & Jackson, 2003; Nelson & Neufeldt, 1998; Studer, 2007). A developmental perspective regarding the preparation of counselors is particularly evident in models put forward for the supervision of counseling interns (Friedman & Kaslow, 1986;

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Loganbill, Hardy, & Dellworth, 1982; Stoltenberg, 1981; Stoltenberg & Dellworth, 1987; Watkins, 1993). Professional counselor identity as a developmental component of counselor preparation has been identified as a critical element of counselor education and supervision (e.g., Auxier et al., 2003; Brott & Meyers, 1999; Friedman & Kaslow, 1986; Nelson & Jackson, 2003). The integration of the counselor’s personal and professional identity is a recurring theme in the counselor identity development literature in which this developmental achievement has been described as part of a “recycling” process (Auxier et al., 2003, p. 32), an “integration” process (Friedman & Kaslow, 1986, p. 45), a process in which counselors “consolidate their emerging professional identity” (Nelson & Jackson, 2003, p. 4), and a part of a “blending of influences” process (Brott & Meyers, 1999, p. 342).

The integration of components of personal and professional identity has similarly been identified in the process of the development of one’s theoretical orientation to counseling (Aradi & Kaslow, 1987; Bitar, Bean, & Bermudez, 2007; Spruill & Benshoff, 2000). Research concerning the theoretical orientation integration process which occurs prior to practicum and internship experiences suggests that students who have not yet engaged in clinical experiences may draw more heavily on aspects of personal identity in choosing a theoretical orientation (Aradi & Kaslow, 1987; Spruill & Benshoff, 2000). Spruill and Benshoff argued that “it is crucial to integrate personal beliefs with students' increasing knowledge of counseling theories” (p. 75). Similarly, Aradi and Kaslow contended that the process of integrating a theory of counseling must include the component of a therapist’s personality. This suggests that (a) students may engage in identity exploration as part of the process of choosing a theoretical

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orientation, and (b) the development of a theoretical orientation is an aspect of counselor identity development. Other evidence in support of theoretical orientation development as an aspect of professional identity development can be found in research concerning the impact of theoretical orientation on the professional functioning of counselors (Bitar et al., 2007; Spruill & Benshoff, 2000). For example, Spruill and Benshoff asserted that “developing a personal theory of counseling is essential for beginning counselors” (p. 70), suggesting that such development is foundational to clinical work. Statement of the Problem The literature concerning counselor professional identity development focuses almost exclusively on development that occurs in the context of the supervised experiential component of coursework (Auxier et al., 2003; Brott & Myers, 1999; Friedman & Kaslow, 1986; Loganbill et al., 1982; Nelson & Jackson, 2003; Stoltenberg & Dellworth, 1987; Studer, 2007). Research exploring the impact of academic coursework on counselor professional identity development is relatively sparse. Such a disparity appears to suggest a significant gap in the literature, particularly since some counseling researchers maintain that this developmental process begins concurrently with one’s initial curricular experiences in graduate study (Auxier et al., 2003; Brott & Myers, 1999; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992; Studer, 2007). Several models of counselor identity development (Auxier et al., 2003; Brott & Myers, 1999; Nelson & Jackson, 2003) include processes, domains, and influences that converge with elements affecting the development of one’s theoretical counseling orientation. These common elements include (a) an integration process, (b) influence of personal and professional domains, and (c) the impact on therapeutic work, suggesting that one’s emergent theoretical orientation

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significantly affects one’s professional identity development. However, the impact of theoretical orientation development on counselor professional identity development has been virtually unexamined in the research literature. Additionally, the limited research on counselor identity development is primarily qualitative in nature (e.g., Auxier et al., 2003; Bitar et al., 2007; Brott & Meyers, 1999). Therefore, a quantitative exploration of counselor theoretical orientation development as an aspect of counselor professional identity development that occurs prior to supervised clinical experiences appears to be needed to address this gap in the literature. The current study examined how a graduate course emphasizing a review of counseling theories impacted the identity statuses of graduate counseling students from the beginning to the end of a semester. Identity status was explored using the identity status model of James Marcia (1964). Marcia (1964) developed four identity statuses which consist of (a) Diffusion, (b) Foreclosure, (c) Moratorium, and (d) Achievement. Marcia based these statuses on the dimensions of Exploration and Commitment described in Erik Erikson’s (1950) fifth stage of psychosocial development, Identity vs. Identity Diffusion. Specifically, the study considered the possible influence that articulating a personal theoretical model of counseling practice in a graduate course in counseling theory may have had on the early professional identity development of master’s level counseling students enrolled in counselor education programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The study addresses apparent gaps in the developmental literature describing the professional identity formation of counselor trainees, emphasizing processes that may occur prior to supervised counseling experiences. The counselor education literature recommends that counseling theories courses include a component designed to engage students in a self-reflective process leading to the alignment with

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a theoretical orientation (Hayes & Paisley, 2002; McAuliffe & Eriksen, 2000). The intended outcome of this self-reflective process is “ theoretical fit” (Guiffrida, 2005, p. 202), meaning that a student has aligned with an identified, existing theoretical model of counseling based on identified congruencies between his or her personal worldview and the foundational tenets of the model. Thus, in the process leading to commitment to a theoretical orientation that is congruent with their personal worldview, students engage in a re-examination of their own values and beliefs. Erikson (1950) discussed such processes of exploration and commitment in the context of the integration of ego identity (Ashmore & Jussim, 1997). The dual processes of exploration and commitment are the basis for Marcia’s (1964) four identity statuses, (a) Identity Diffusion, (b) Identity Foreclosure, (c) Identity Moratorium, and (d) Identity Achieved. First-year graduate counseling students enrolled in their first counseling theories course were the participants in this study. Many counselor educators support students taking counseling theories courses early in the program of study to provide students with a foundational theoretical framework from which to approach additional coursework and clinical experiences (Granello & Hazler, 1998; Hayes & Paisley, 2002; Spruill & Benshoff, 2000). Participants in this study were enrolled in their first year of graduate study in counseling. The instrument used to examine the identity exploration of students was the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ; Balistreri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995). The EIPQ has been described as one of “the most frequently used measures of identity development” (Berman, Montgomery, & Kurtines, 2004, p. 2). The EIPQ is a 32-item Likert-type questionnaire based on Marcia’s (1964) four identity statuses, Identity Diffusion, Identity Foreclosure, Identity Moratorium, and Identity Achieved. Marcia developed these statuses based on Erikson’s (1950) constructs of exploration and commitment. The EIPQ was administered at the beginning and end

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of the course to examine possible changes in student levels of exploration and commitment and corresponding changes in identity status. The lack of quantitative research concerning theoretical orientation development as an aspect of counselor identity development suggests a significant gap in the literature. The current study offers a contribution to the counselor education literature through an extension and application of models and concepts of ego identity formation to the development of a theoretical orientation among graduate counseling students. The exploration of ego identity formation in the context of the process by which counseling students choose a theoretical orientation was undertaken with the intent to provide additional information in relation to existing models of counselor development. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to examine possible evidence of students actively engaged in the process of counselor professional identity development prior to supervised clinical experiences. The counselor education literature suggests that the professional identity development of counselors is significantly influenced by the development of a theoretical orientation, and that one’s chosen theoretical orientation should be congruent with one’s personal worldview. Thus, theoretical orientation may serve as the bridge between counselor professional identity and personal identity. While pedagogical and stage-based interventions for promoting counseling student development have proliferated, evidence for the efficacy of such efforts is sparse and primarily qualitative in nature. Specifically, this study sought to address this apparent gap in the literature through an examination of how the development of a theoretical orientation as an aspect of counselor identity development impacted the personal identity statuses of graduate students enrolled in coursework in counseling theories.

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Definition of Terms

Specific terms that were employed for the study included the following:

CACREP – The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs is an independent accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master's degree programs in counseling. At the time of this study, CACREP had accredited a total of 218 institutions. Commitment – A construct representing an individual’s personal investment in a course of action, belief, or ideology (Marcia, 1964). In the context of this research, commitment is defined as an allegiance to ideological concepts which include the areas of occupation, religion, politics, and values, and interpersonal concepts which include family, friendships, dating, and sex (gender) roles, as measured by the Commitment subscale of the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ; Balistreri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995). Counselor Development – Counselor development refers to the process articulated in the counselor education literature by which counseling students progress through a sequence of hierarchical stages representing increased knowledge and competence in counseling skills. Guiffrida (2005) suggested that successful counselor development requires “assisting students in finding a theory that fits with their views of human growth and change and developing a theoretical orientation in a self-reflective manner” (p. 202). Counselor Identity – Counselor identity refers to a “therapeutic self that consists of a unique personal blend of the developed professional and personal selves” (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992, p. 507), of which the personal self includes “values and theoretical stance” (Skovholt & Ronnestad, p. 507).

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Ego Identity – The ego quality resulting from the successful integration of childhood identifications and manifested in the expression of personal identity, as described in Erikson (1959). Marcia (1964) proposed that the successful achievement of ego identity represents “a reformulation of all that the individual has been into the core of what he is to be” (p. 15). Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ) - The Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ; Balistreri, Busch-Rossnagel, & Geisinger, 1995) was used as the instrument for the study. The EIPQ is a 32-item Likert-scale that assesses Exploration and Commitment. The EIPQ is comprised of ideological and interpersonal domains within the framework of the instrument. The ideological domain for the EIPQ includes Occupation, Religion, Politics, and Values. The interpersonal domain includes Family, Friendships, Dating, and Sex (gender) Roles. The EIPQ is also used to categorize individuals into the Diffusion, Foreclosure, Moratorium, and Achievement statuses of the Marcia (1966) model of identify development. Exploration – A construct representing an individual’s active engagement in consideration of a field of meaningful alternatives. Marcia (1964) defined exploration as “the presence of some period of re-thinking, sorting-through, trying out various roles and life plans” (p. 24). In the context of this research, exploration was examined in relation to ideological concepts which included the areas of occupation, religion, politics, and values, and interpersonal concepts which included family, friendships, dating, and sex (gender) roles, as measured by the EIPQ. Identity Achieved – An identity status describing a person who has engaged in both identity exploration and identity commitment. Marcia (1964) proposed that criteria for the Identity Achievement status is “the individual has passed through a decision period or crisis and appears committed to his occupation and/or ideology…” (p. 26).

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Identity Diffusion – An identity status describing a person who has engaged in neither identity exploration nor identity commitment. Marcia (1964) described this individual as a person who has engaged in little or no exploration and “there is little, if any commitment” (p. 33). Identity Foreclosure – An identity status describing a person who has not engaged in identity exploration but has made identity commitment. Marcia’s (1964) criteria for this status is “the individual does not seem to have passed through any real decision period but, nevertheless, appears committed to occupation and/or ideology” (p. 28). Identity Moratorium – An identity status describing a person who is engaged in identity exploration, but has not made identity commitment. Marcia (1964) stated “the individual is presently in a crisis period, trying to make up his mind….An important quality here is a sense of active struggle among alternatives” (p. 30). Identity Status – A concept introduced by Marcia (1964) and based on the writings of Erik Erikson (1963) that is represented by four styles of identity resolution, which are (a) Diffusion, (b) Foreclosure, (c) Moratorium, and (d) Achievement. Professional Identity – The development of an identity as a professional that integrates personal beliefs and values with the beliefs and values of one’s profession. Theoretical Orientation – An approach to counseling that serves as a framework to guide the counselor’s work with clients, the development of which requires students to engage in a process of self-reflection (Hayes & Paisley, 2002; McAuliffe & Eriksen, 2000). Research Questions The following Research Questions were tested in the study: Research Question 1: Is there a difference in a student’s level of exploration of ego identity, as measured by the Exploration Subscale of the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, between the

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beginning and end of a counseling theories course? Research Question 2: Is there a difference in a student’s level of commitment of ego identity, as measured by the Commitment Subscale of the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, between the beginning and end of a counseling theories course? Research Question 3: Is there a difference in a student’s ego identity status, as measured by the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, between the beginning and end of a counseling theories course? Limitations Limitations of the study were as follows: 1. In addition to being enrolled in a graduate course in counseling theories, participants in the study may have been enrolled in other graduate coursework, which reduces the confidence that the results may be attributed to the counseling theories course. 2. The use of a pretreatment-posttreatment single-group design did not permit comparison with a similar non-treatment control group, thus limiting the confidence in participant differences that may be attributed to the treatment. 3. While an assumption is that the curricular experiences of participants enrolled in the counseling theories coursework at the participating CACREP accredited institutions were generally parallel, some variation in lecture, text, and related aspects of course delivery may have occurred. 4. The EIPQ may indicate an identity status different from what might be obtained through the use of a different instrument or an interview. 5. The EIPQ is a self-report instrument, introducing the possibility that participants may have intentionally or unintentionally reported inaccurate data.

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6. Data were collected during two distinct semesters of graduate theories coursework. 7. Participants differed in the number of completed semesters of graduate study. 8. Sample demographic characteristics may not equitably represent cultural diversity. Assumptions Assumptions for the study were as follows: 1. Adequate evidence exists to support a conclusion that the EIPQ is valid, reliable, and robust for the purposes of data collection. 2. The participants in the study were first-year graduate counseling students enrolled in their first graduate course in counseling theories. 3. The curricular experiences of participants enrolled in the counseling theories coursework at the participating CACREP accredited institutions were generally parallel. 4. The responses of participants were truthful and accurate. Organization of the Remainder of the Study Chapter II in the study consists of a review of the literature concerning ego identity development, counseling identity, and counselor theoretical orientation development. Additionally, a summary of the research concerning the variables of exploration and commitment is presented. Finally, a brief synthesis of the literature is presented in support of the significance of the study. Chapter III features a discussion of the research design and data analysis for the study. Specifically, this chapter provides a description of participants, the EIPQ, research design and procedures, and the data analyses included in the study. Chapter IV details the outcome of the study. Chapter V discusses the study results, implications, and suggestions for further research.

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CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this literature review is to identify relevant research that serves as a framework for a developmental perspective on the process by which counseling students come to articulate a professional counselor identity. Four distinct, yet interrelated areas are encompassed in this review: (a) psychosocial identity development research, (b) a brief history of the development of the identity of the counseling profession, (c) counselor education and supervision research related to professional identity development, and (d) theoretical orientation research that informs the process of counselor professional identity development. The review begins with an exploration of the psychosocial identity development research, focusing on the contributions of Erik Erikson and James Marcia. Before commencing with this review, the author wishes to acknowledge the inequity of the traditional use of the masculine pronoun which characterizes the style of writing in the era during which the research was originally published. The author concurs with Wilcoxon’s (1989) statement that “…care should be taken to avoid generalizations, stereotyping, or implied meanings reflected in gender-specific terms or attributes” (p. 115), and the convention of using the masculine pronoun in this section has been maintained solely for purposes of accuracy in quoting from early research. Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development Erik Erikson, often described as a neo-Freudian (Stevens, 1983), developed one of the most widely known and substantial theoretical models of identity development (Ashmore & Jussim, 1997). In his seminal work Childhood and Society (1950), Erikson stated that “this book originated in the practice of psychoanalysis” (p. 15). However, Erikson extended Freud’s model

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of psychosexual development to encompass psychosocial development across the lifespan. He also placed increased emphasis on the role and function of the ego, which he described as “a concept denoting man’s capacity to unify his experience and his action in an adaptive manner” (Erikson, 1950, p. 15). Erikson contended that identity development involved the integration of childhood identifications, present physiological and social changes, and future commitments (Erikson, 1950). Erikson’s developmental model posits that psychosocial growth and psychosexual growth are intertwined (Corey, 2001). Erikson described eight stages through which individuals develop over the course of the life cycle, each stage characterized by a dialectical crisis which must be resolved. The term crisis was used by Erikson in a developmental sense “to connote not a threat of catastrophe, but a turning point, a crucial period of increased vulnerability and heightened potential…” (Erikson, 1950, p. 96). A concept fundamental to Erikson’s model of psychosocial development is the epigenetic principle (Campbell, 1996). Erikson (1950) expounded on this principle by noting that “anything that grows has a ground plan, and that out of this ground plan the parts arise, each part having its time of special ascendancy, until all parts have arisen to form a functioning whole” (p. 92). This principle is foundational to developmental progression through the sequence of Erikson’s eight psychosocial crises beginning with Trust vs. Mistrust and ending with Integrity vs. Despair. Erikson (1980) maintained that, for normal development to occur, the first in each opposing pair must achieve prominence over the second, although the second of each pair never completely loses influence. Furthermore, each part exists in some form prior to the phase-specific crisis which denotes each part. Erikson (1980) stated that “it is at the end of adolescence, then, that identity becomes phase-specific, i.e., must find a certain integration as a relatively conflict-free

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psychosocial arrangement – or remain defective or conflict-laden” (p. 130). A brief exploration of each developmental crisis follows. Basic Trust vs. Mistrust (Ages 0 to 18 months) The setting for the first of Erikson’s (1950) psychosocial crises is infancy. The developmental crisis to be resolved is a sense of basic trust vs. mistrust. A sense of basic trust ascends to dominance when an infant’s emotional and physical needs are satisfied consistently. The significance of this stage for identity development is “the encounter of maternal person and small infant, an encounter which is one of mutual trustworthiness and mutual recognition” (Erikson, 1968, p. 105), which serves as the basis for the “earliest and most undifferentiated ‘sense of identity’” (p. 105). Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (Ages 18 months to 3 years) The second crisis in Erikson’s developmental model occurs during early childhood and is identified as Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt. This crisis is resolved as the child engages in the process of learning to control personal behaviors. Autonomy presides over shame when the child achieves success in developing control over behaviors such as bodily functions. Erikson (1950) described doubt as “the brother of shame” (p. 253). Erikson contended that “whereas shame is dependent on the consciousness of being upright and exposed, doubt…has much to do with a consciousness of having a front and a back – and especially a ‘behind’” (Erikson, p. 253). This area of the body which is unseen by the child is susceptible to domination by the will of others who have the power to designate as evil that which is produced by the bowels, leading to a sense of doubt in that which is left behind. However, while a perceived loss of self-control and of over- control by others can produce an enduring propensity for shame and doubt, a lasting sense of pride and goodwill ensues from the development of a “sense of self-control without loss of self-

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esteem” (Erikson, p. 254). This stage contributes to the formation of identity through the development of a sense of independence as the child succeeds in negotiating the first emancipation from the mother (Erikson, 1968). Initiative vs. Guilt (Ages 3 to 5 years) The crisis of Initiative vs. Guilt occurs around the end of the third year of life, a developmental stage in which the child has acquired the abilities to move about more freely, understand and communicate more fluently, and imagine more expansively (Erikson, 1968). These increased capacities allow the child to engage more fully with others and thus enter “into the infantile politics of nursery school, street corner, and barnyard” (Erikson, p. 116). A danger of this stage is that a sense of guilt may develop from the threat of punishment for contemplated goals and initiated acts which are deemed overly aggressive. The successful resolution of this crisis is achieved as the child develops a sense of accomplishment through identification with adult roles which find expression through cooperative planning and construction. This contributes to identity development by “freeing the child’s initiative and sense of purpose for adult tasks which promise (but cannot guarantee) a fulfillment of one’s range of capacities” (Erikson, 1968, p. 122). Industry vs. Inferiority (Ages 5 to 12 years) The fourth stage of Erikson’s (1950) model is the crisis of Industry vs. Inferiority, which is resolved successfully as the child finds recognition by producing things. At this stage the child enters into some type of systematic instruction leading to the development of fundamental technological skills. The child who loses hope in his skills or status as a contributing member of his social system is in danger of perceiving himself as inferior or inadequate, a danger which extends to identity development if the child “accepts work as the only criterion for

Full document contains 210 pages
Abstract: The literature on counselor development suggests that the development of a professional identity is a fundamental aspect of counselor training. The unique demands placed on counselors to integrate aspects of both personal and professional identity into the therapeutic process (Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1995) make development of a professional identity a critical component of the training of counseling practitioners. An examination of the counselor development literature suggests that the processes of developing an integrated professional identity converge with the processes by which counseling students align with a theoretical orientation. Furthermore, the significant impact of theoretical orientation on clinical work suggests that the articulation of a personal theoretical orientation is an essential component of professional identity development for counselors. The current study examined how a graduate course emphasizing a review of counseling theories impacted the identity statuses of graduate counseling students from the beginning to the end of a semester. Participants were enrolled in a counselor education program accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Identity status was explored using the identity status model of James Marcia (1964) which consists of four identity statuses, Diffusion, Foreclosure, Moratorium, and Achievement. These statuses are based on the dimensions of Exploration and Commitment in Erik Erikson's (1950) fifth stage of psychosocial development, Identity vs. Identity Diffusion. Specifically, this study investigated how the process of articulating a theoretical orientation impacted levels of Exploration, Commitment, and the identity statuses of graduate students enrolled in coursework in counseling theories. Empirical evidence of counseling student development as an outcome of this curricular activity was examined through a single group pretest-posttest design using the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ), which was administered at the beginning (T1) and end (T2) of the theories coursework within a given semester. An analysis of Exploration mean scores, Commitment mean scores, and identity status categories found no statistically significant differences between the T1 and T2 administrations of the EIPQ. A discussion of the findings is included, with implications for counselor educators as well as recommendations for further research.