Counseling and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Date of Award




Degree Level



Proquest Document ID





St. Mary's University

Document Type


First Advisor

Dan Ratliff


Although best practices of group supervision advise that supervisory methods match the developmental level of supervisees, research has shown that novices typically receive group supervision in the same manner as more experienced trainees. The prevalent use of case presentations in group supervision regardless of learners' level of clinical experience suggests contemporary practicum courses may be overlooking beginning students' unique, developmental characteristics and needs. Fifteen counseling students enrolled in CACREP-accredited master's degree programs across the United States were interviewed for a phenomenological study exploring their experiences of case presentations in practicum. Synchronous interviews conducted over video conferencing examined participants' emotional experiences throughout practicum, perceptions of the value of case presentations' structural components (i.e., write-ups, recordings, feedback processes), and recommendations for improvement. Findings showed that participants shared similar emotions throughout practicum and appreciated the value of informal discussions and check-ins. Perceptions of the value of formal case presentations varied dramatically. Three conclusions emerged from the study: (a) practicum group supervision would be improved by maximizing the use of informal discussions; (b) formal case presentations may not be developmentally ideal for practicum due to problems relating to students' clinical inexperience, time management, and quality of feedback exchange; and (c) practicum group supervision may be improved by developing students' ability to provide and receive meaningful feedback. These conclusions have implications for counselor educators, supervisors, counseling programs, and practicum students. Modifications to practicum group supervision that are based on the findings of this study may improve students' experiences and the outcomes of counselor training.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License