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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 21 / 135

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ought to be given preference based on personality characteristics that are associated with

these factors. Luborsky, McLellan, Woody, O’Brien, and Auerbach (1985) concluded

that the major agent of effective therapy is the personality of the therapist and the ability

to form a warm, supporting relationship. Not negating the importance of skill, they

argued that therapy effectiveness is due in part to therapist’s interest in helping a client.

Combs (1986) suggested that effective people-helping is more than acquiring knowledge

and methods; it focuses on personal growth and personal meaning. Gelso and Carter

(1994) noted that some researchers see the relationship in counseling as the essence of

treatment and others believe that it provides the leverage for the implementation of

therapy techniques. Still others have stated that skill attainment and personality traits may

have an effect on each other (Crews et al., 2005). Counselor education programs must,

therefore, deemphasize teaching techniques alone. On the other hand, emphasis on the

cultivation of personality characteristics that correlate with effective therapeutic

outcomes is necessary.

Counselor education programs should be concerned with student incompetency,

and determining competency versus incompetency necessitates looking beyond the

attainment of academic material alone (Lumadue & Duffey, 1999). Overholser and Fine

(1990) described a schema of understanding incompetence due to lack of knowledge,

incompetence due to inadequate clinical skills, incompetence due to deficient technical

skills, incompetence due to poor judgment, and incompetence due to disturbing

interpersonal attributes. Interpersonal attributes were described as personality

characteristics, social skills, and emotional problems. Although all aspects of

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