Date of Award

12-2004

Level of Access

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Counselor Education

Advisor

Dorothy Breen

Second Committee Member

Mary Madden

Third Committee Member

Sandy Caron

Abstract

The professional counselor who lives and works in a rural setting enjoys the rewards of rural life, but must cope daily with the challenges of rural practice. I t i s commonly believed that the rural context uniquely affects the lives and work o f rural practitioners, yet little recognition has been paid to those effects by the counseling profession. The needs and recommendations of rural professional counselors for preparation and support need to be assessed. Models for the preparation and support of rural professional counselors need to be developed. In this qualitative study the effects of the rural setting on the practice o f 20 professional counselors who live and work in rural settings across the United States are described. The needs and recommendations for preparation and support for their work in the rural environment expressed by those counselors are examined. Implications for the practice, preparation, professional development, support, and supervision of professional counselors for work in the rural setting are discussed

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