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Assessment of Microskills Training for Lay Counselors in Rural Christian Congregations

Burkhart, Jeremiah W. and Riding-Malon, Ruth and Lee, Nicholas A. and Pierce, Thomas W. Assessment of Microskills Training for Lay Counselors in Rural Christian Congregations. 2019. Radford University, Dissertation. Radford University Scholars' Repository.

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Lay counselors and other informal supports have been demonstrated to be effective forms of alternative support; however, most models for training lay counselors have limited usefulness for rural communities. The purpose of this study was to measure the change in observable microskill usage following a brief (< 10 hours) lay counseling microskills workshop designed for rural, Christian congregations. Researchers evaluated pre/post-intervention transcripts from 12 participants utilizing Hill’s (2014) Helping Skills System. Researchers also calculated proportions of words spoken by participants during mock lay counseling interactions with an actor to measure increases in active listening skills. Results of the study indicated a greater level of success with reducing the less-helpful counseling microskills (e.g., direct guidance, self-disclosure) than either increasing positive counseling microskills (e.g., open questions, reflection of feeling) or reducing the amount of time speaking in this sample of Christian lay counselors following the described microskill workshop. The project identified several factors that impacted results which were not measured by the categorization of verbal responses, including individual learner differences, religious evangelistic efforts, and the use of prayer during lay counseling interactions. This project also attempted to explore the role of rural practitioners in the collaboration with religious congregations in building healthier, supportive communities.

Item Type: Dissertation
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural, Christian, lay counselors, microskills
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Radford University > College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences > Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 20:11
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 17:00

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