Mindfulness and counseling self-efficacy : the mediating role of attention and empathy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
D. Paige Bentley (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Craig Cashwell

Abstract: "The number of counseling positions in the United States is expected to grow at least 27% by the year 2014. Counselor educators are ethically charged with ensuring that these new counselors are well-prepared to handle the challenges of the profession. This requires attention to both specific skill training and the cultivation of confidence in those skills - counseling self-efficacy. The key skills for effective counseling include the ability to strategically control attention and genuinely empathize with the client. Current counselor education methods are effective in teaching discrete behavioral manifestations of these skills. Counselor educators have little guidance from the literature, however, on how to prepare students in the habits of mind and ways of being necessary for sustained attention and empathic understanding. A number of theorists have suggested that mindfulness training may be an important tool for bridging this gap. In this study, a path model was examined that hypothesized a relationship between mindfulness and counseling self-efficacy mediated by attention and empathy. A total of 179 master's level counseling interns and doctoral counseling students were surveyed to determine their levels of mindfulness, attention, empathy, and counseling self-efficacy using the Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire, the Counseling Attention Scale, the Everyday Attention Questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and the Counseling Activity Self-Efficacy Scales. Pearson Product Moment Coefficients revealed significant pairwise relationships among the four variables of interest. A MANOVA found that doctoral students scored significantly higher than master's students on measures of mindfulness, attention, and counseling self-efficacy. An ANOVA found that females had higher mean scores of empathy than males. A path analysis supported the hypotheses that mindfulness is a significant predictor of counseling self-efficacy and that attention is a mediator of that relationship. The results indicated that empathy, however, was not a mediator of this relationship and that it did not significantly predict counseling self-efficacy. The results suggest that mindfulness may be an important variable in the development of key counselor training outcomes. The results have implications for counselor training admissions, counselor education, and counseling practice. Further research using different research methodology is needed to provide more empirical support for these findings."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
counseling, positions, job growth, skill training, confidence, challenges, profession, attention, empathize
Educational psychology
Counselors--Training of

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