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Moving towards a comprehensive understanding of multicultural counseling competence: the role of diversity cognitive complexity

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This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience,

This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness are assumed to provide the foundation for the development of these outcome variables. The role of how a counselor trainee utilizes this knowledge and awareness in working with diverse populations has not been explored. Diversity cognitive complexity (DCC) quantifies the process by which a counselor thinks about different elements of diversity in a multidimensional manner. The current study examined the role of DCC on the relationship between training variables of direct clinical experience with diverse populations, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness and the two training outcomes (multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability). A total of one hundred and sixty-one graduate trainees participated in the study. A series of hypotheses were tested to examine the impact of DCC on the relationship between MCC predictors (multicultural knowledge, multicultural awareness, and direct contact hours with diverse clinical populations) and two MCC outcomes: multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to test whether DCC mediated or moderated the relationship between the predictors and the outcome variables. Multicultural knowledge and clinical hours with diverse populations were significant predictors of multicultural counseling self-efficacy. Multicultural awareness was a significant predictor of multicultural case conceptualization ability. Diversity cognitive complexity was not a significantly related to any predictor or outcome variable, thus all hypotheses tested were rejected. The results of the current study support graduate programs emphasizing counselor trainees gaining multicultural knowledge and awareness as well as direct clinical experience with diverse clinical populations in an effort to foster MCC. Although diversity cognitive complexity was not significantly related to the predictor or outcome variables in this study, further research is warranted to determine the validity of the measure used to assess DCC. The findings in this study support the need for further research exploring training variables that contribute to multicultural counseling outcomes.

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2013

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The relationship between clinical experience, emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy with resilience as a moderator

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Emotions are essential ingredients to the human experience. How one feels influences how one thinks and behaves. The processing capacity for emotion-related information can be thought of as emotional intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1997). Regulating emotions and coping

Emotions are essential ingredients to the human experience. How one feels influences how one thinks and behaves. The processing capacity for emotion-related information can be thought of as emotional intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1997). Regulating emotions and coping with emotional experiences are among the most common reasons individuals seek counseling. Counselors must be uniquely equipped in processing and managing emotional content. Counselor’s skills and abilities related to emotional intelligence are vital to effective counseling. There is indication that confidence in one’s counseling skills may be equally as important as competence in these skills. Counselor self-efficacy, one’s belief in one’s ability to perform counseling activities, has been shown to relate to counselor performance and ability and increased clinical experience has been associated with higher levels of counselor self-efficacy (Larson & Daniels, 1998). One’s emotion-related information processing abilities and one’s clinical experiences may contribute to one’s perception of one’s competencies and abilities as a counselor.

However, this relationship may not be a simple cause-and-effect association. Individuals may possess a certain aptitude (emotional intelligence) and not perceive themselves as competent as counselors. Resilience, one’s ability to “bounce-back” and persevere through adversity may moderate the relation between emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy (Wagnild, 1990).

The current study explored the relations among clinical experience, emotional intelligence and resilience in predicting self-efficacy. In addition, whether resilience would moderate the relationship between emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy was examined. Eighty counselor trainees enrolled in CACREP-accredited master’s programs participated in this study online. They completed a demographics form, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Mayer, et al., 2002), the Counselor Activities Self-Efficacy Scales (CASES; Lent et al., 2003), and The Resilience Scale (RS; Wagnild & Young, 1993). Multiple hierarchical regressions revealed clinical experience (specifically a completed practicum), emotional intelligence, and resilience predicted counselor self-efficacy. The moderation was not significant. These findings support the value of the exploration of clinical experience, emotional intelligence and resilience in developing counselor self-efficacy. A more comprehensive discussion of the findings, limitations, and implications of the current study as well as suggested direction for future research are discussed herein.

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2017