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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 24 / 135

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emotional domain for master therapists included mental healthiness, mental maturity as

indicated by attending to their own emotional well-being, and a healthy balance between

confidence and humility. The master therapists in the relationship domain possessed

strong relationship skills, as evidenced by sensitivity, compassion, warmth, respect and

caring. Therefore, the researchers proposed a model embracing the significant

contributions of the cognitive, emotional, and relational domains.

Noting that counseling professionals increasingly recognize the role of personality

characteristics in evaluating students for admission and retention in counseling

programs, Pope and Kline (1999) compiled a list of twenty-two personality

characteristics assumed to be connected with counselor effectiveness. Ten counselor

educators were asked to rank order these characteristics in terms of importance and

responsiveness to training. The top ranking five of these characteristics were acceptance,

emotional stability, open-mindedness, empathy, and genuineness.

Although these researchers have found that the personality of the counselor has

been linked with counseling efficacy, there has been little research to examine how a

counselor’s personality characteristics impact satisfaction and self-perceived efficacy in

counseling. It is argued that personality characteristics should be included in student’s

profile at the onset and throughout training (Bernard & Goodyear, 1998). There is also

growing recognition that a counselor education program’s screening process should be

concerned with personality characteristics and a screening device developed to assess

personality characteristics to help predict the potential success of applicants (Pope &

Kline,1999).

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