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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 100 / 135

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The Openness domain of the NEO PI-R is a measure of a person’s

conventionality, including scope and intensity of interests (Costa & McCrae, 1992). It

also has been defined as a measure of a person’s desire to be proactive and to possess a

tolerance for the unfamiliar (Piedmont, 1998). Counseling work can be an ambiguous

challenge, with each client presenting numerous and varied nuances. The trend for a

positive correlation of Openness and active involvement in the counseling profession

may be indicative of a person’s interest in expending the necessary time, effort, and

creative abilities to engage clients in therapy.

Although all facets of this domain should be researched to determine the

particular differences these facets may reveal, the Feelings facet may have a substantial

role. The Feelings facet measures the receptivity that one has for their own inner feelings

and whether an evaluation of feelings is significantly important (Costa & McCrae, 1992).

Persons with a higher score on the Feelings facet tend to experience happiness and

unhappiness more intensely (Piedmont, 1998). A counselor may be actively involved in

the counseling profession due to a priority for, and sensitivity to clients’ feelings. The

professional development of a counselor requires more than an ability to merely gather

and impart information. Rather, because of his own emotional receptivity, it involves

being interested in moving into the client’s world in an effort to provide support

(Jennings & Skovholt, 1999). The counselor’s effort is likely to be counterproductive if

there is a lack of connection with his own emotional perceptual schemata (Trusty, Ng, &

Watts, 2005).

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