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Perceived Leadership Practices of Mental Health Counselors After the Completion of the Master’s Degree

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TITLE Perceived Leadership Practices of Mental Health Counselors After the Completion of the Master’s Degree
 
RESEARCHER Lacrecia Vernise Dangerfield
College of Education
Argosy University (Nashville)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: October 2014

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to investigate the leadership practices of mental health counselors following the completion of the master’s degree in efforts to identify whether a relationship existed between years of clinical practice and self-perception of leadership practices.

METHODOLOGY
A non-probability census sampling strategy was used to gather a sample from the total population of individuals receiving notifications through the Tennessee Counseling Association, Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor Association, and Tennessee Mental Health Counselor Association Listservs (N=1317), with the sample involving 82 respondents. They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and provided demographic information. The typical respondent was female (81%), held a master’s degree (88%), held licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (43%), and an average of 8.6 years as a mental health counselor

KEY FINDINGS
The most frequently engaged leadership practice reported was Enable, followed by Encourage, and then Model, Challenge, and Inspire. Years of clinical practice as a mental health counselor was not related to the frequency of use for any of the five leadership practices. The author suggestions: “A clearer understanding of the difference between positional and non-positional leadership can help to inform the perception of counselors as leaders” (p. 106).

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