ABSTRACT

This study explored the distinctive characteristics of novice and expert counselors in terms of their perceived difficulties and ways of overcoming them using the concept-mapping method. A total of 8 novice counselors and 8 expert counselors were interviewed and key sentences from those interviews were extracted, sorted and rated by themselves. Multidimensional Scaling and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis method were used in order to identify dimensions and clusters of their experiences. The results suggest that the novice counselors reported difficulties primarily from a lack of confidence and assurance and thus were vulnerable to others' feedback including their clients. On the contrary, the expert counselors experienced difficulties in dealing with the work environment and the challenges of self-care and further growth. As to the overcoming strategies, both of the novice and expert counselors relied on colleagues and supervisors' support, learning through counseling cases and workshops, and the sense of self-growth. In addition, it was beneficial for the novice counselors to accept the fact of being a novice and consider having someone to consult with. For the expert counselors it was found helpful to have quality times outside counseling. This study ends with implications, limitations, and suggestions for future studies.

KEYWORD

novice counselors, expert counselors, concept-mapping

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