Professional & Personal Development


I hope that your year is off to a good start!

As many of you know, one of my major areas of focus is counselor development. I recently read an interesting article in the December 2014 issue of the journal titled “Counselor Education and Supervision.”

The article addressed measuring the progression of counselor development. They found that advanced counseling trainees (post internship) demonstrated more professional development than novice trainees (Prosek et al., 2014).

In their study they used a scale called the Professional Identity and Values Scale (PIVS). It measures counseling specific values and personal values that influence the professional.

The counseling specific values include:

  • advocacy,
  • prevention,
  • wellness perspective,
  • social justice,
  • and empowerment.

The personal values (“influential” to professional values) include:

  • family,
  • friends,
  • belongingness,self-awareness,
  • spirituality, and happiness.

The basic concept is that as Counselors develop their professional identity they move through stages. The stages the PIVS measure are as follows (Healey et al., 2010):

Stage 1- understand counseling philosophy but not able to practice
Stage 2- understand counseling philosophy and able to put it into practice
Stage 3- the integration of self (congruence between professional and personal identity.)

This week I am thinking about the sequence and timing of counselor training both basic and advanced; and the intentions that we have as we pursue our field of interest and new specialty areas.

Below are some questions for reflection.
So how long did it take for you to move through the stages measured in the PIVS?

Does the clock start over as we move into different or new areas of practice?

In my estimation, the ability to integrate professional and personal identity requires a combination of:

  • time (experience in clinical practice);
  • reflection (both self reflection and dialogue with others);
  • and adaptability including the willingness to learn more and be personally effected and changed by what we learn.

Copyright © 2015 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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