Transnational faculty work in counselor education: a Delphi study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul H. Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
James Benshoff

Abstract: The growth of the counseling profession worldwide paired with the effects of globalization have created more ways in which U.S. counselor education faculty work worldwide (Lorelle et al., 2012; Norsworthy et al., 2009b; Tang et al., 2012). This professional work often occurs within the domains of counselor education, counseling practice and development, and counseling research. Numerous professional trends illustrate these changes. Counselor educators continue to expand and develop counseling research globally (Pieterse et al., 2011), create global initiatives within the field (Ng et al., 2012), assist with the development of the counseling profession in other countries (Lueng et al., 2009; Stanard, 2013), work with international students (Lau & Ng, 2012; Ng & Smith, 2009), and lead educational programming, such as immersion experiences, within their roles as educators (Tomlinson-Clarke & Clarke, 2010). Over the past few decades, the phenomena of globalization and, subsequently, internationalization within higher education, have facilitated the expansion of these global experiences of counselor educators. Fundamental to all of these various global experiences is working effectively and ethically with global partners (Norsworthy et al., 2009b), especially given differences in the practice of helping around the world (Brock, 2006) and potential negative impacts of spreading U.S. and European mental health practices to other countries (Mills, 2014; Staeuble, 2006; van de Vijver, 2013). Given the complexities and ethical issues present in transnational work, surprisingly lacking within professional literature are guidelines for transnational professional work within counselor education. Although some counselor educators have discussed their individual global experiences (e.g., Norsworthy et al., 2009b) and provided conceptual guidance for other educators (e.g., Draguns, 2013; Gerstein & Ægisdóttir, 2007), no empirical research exists that gives guidelines for counselor educators about how to best work with other professionals transnationally. When direction or guidelines are lacking within a certain research area, consensus opinion from relevant experts helps provide a framework for effective practice and development (Powell, 2003). Developing consensus opinion from experts in the counseling field regarding the transnational professional work offers U.S.-based counselor educators critical guidelines for their global engagement and professional work. The Delphi methodology was used in this study to develop a consensus opinion from the counseling experts. Findings of this study indicate critical guidelines for counselor educators when working transnationally. Overall, 69 items developed consensus by the expert panel as critical guidelines. The guidelines were thematically categorizes in 6 areas: (a) Personal Attributes and Attitudes – General, (b) Personal Attributes and Attitudes – Counseling Related, (c) Context-Specific Characteristics – Knowledge, (d) Context-Specific Characteristics – Skills, (e) U.S. Counseling Expertise – Knowledge, and (f) U.S. Counseling Expertise – Skills. The majority of the guidelines were in the category of Personal Attributes and Attitudes, indicating the importance of these ideas to the panel. The findings of this study provide an initial framework for U.S.-based counselor educators when working transnationally. Because the panel only included U.S.-based counselor educators, it will be important for future research to analyze the perspectives of non-U.S. counseling professionals involved in transnational work.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Counselor education, Delphi, Faculty, Globalization, Guidelines, International
Mental health counseling $x Study and teaching
Mental health counselors $x Education
Psychiatry, Transcultural
Cross-cultural counseling
Intercultural communication

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