Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



groups, peer support, counselor development, thematic analysis, qualitative

Subject Area

Addictions Counseling, Clinical Supervision, Counseling, Counselor Education, Mental Health Counseling


Counselor development evolves throughout one’s professional tenure. One unique phase is the developmental gap post-graduation and pre-licensure in which counseling candidates develop an autonomous sense of self beyond the institution in which they were trained. This study sought to explore those “in the gap” experiences for eight CACREP graduates who participated in a five-session peer support group. A content-driven thematic analysis revealed (a) a feeling of disconnection and (b) a sense of disillusionment brought participants to the group, and (c) a need for homecoming, (d) a call for continued growth, and (e) a practice of empowerment were received by participants from the group. Outcomes promote continued support to counseling graduates– particularly within peer support group experiences –to offer developmental benefits in this timeframe.





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