Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



cognitive complexity, Bloom’s Revised Cognitive Taxonomy, group work, counselors-in-training

Subject Area

Counselor Education


Counselor education researchers maintain that cognitive complexity is an important ability for counselors-in-training (CIT) and professional counselors providing individual and group counseling (Duys & Hedstom, 2000; Granello, 2010; Welfare & Borders, 2010 Wilkinson, 2011). Cognitive complexity, simply defined as it relates to counseling, represents how CIT or professional counselors assemble multiple facets of a client’s situation for use in counseling (Granello, 2010). Research has linked the ability to construct a more or less complete picture from a client’s present circumstances to counseling effectiveness (Welfare & Borders, 2010). According to Bernard and Goodyear (2019) and Granello and Underfer-Babalis (2004), cognitive complexity is linked to a number of counseling competencies such as more detailed descriptions of clients, clearer conceptualizations of client problems, and higher levels of empathy. Moreover, research has demonstrated that higher levels of counselor cognitive complexity correlate to multicultural counseling competencies (Martinez & Dong, 2020) and improved counseling and therapeutic outcomes (Welfare & Borders, 2010). This research underscores the importance of enhancing cognitive complexity for CIT.



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