Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Lenny Jennings, PhD, LP; Kurt Gehlert, PhD, LP


Master of Arts students, training to become counselors, have frequently reported feeling anxious about the complexities of the human condition and the ambiguity inherent in counseling, yet they also describe feeling excited about the prospect of helping others. Counselors in training often rely on the support of supervisors, peers, and clients, as well as specific techniques in an effort to help alleviate their anxiety. Master of Arts, psychology programs in Singapore are relatively new; therefore, there is no data on these training counselors’ experiences. To develop an initial phenomenological understanding of Singaporean, Master of Arts, counseling psychology students, a qualitative study was conducted utilizing two focus groups. Four counseling students from the National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University participated in the first focus group, and three returned for a follow-up focus group. The focus groups included open-ended, semi-structured questions and the raw data was analyzed through a modified grounded theory methodology. The data revealed six categories: (a) Critical Components of Training; (b) Challenges Encountered by New Therapists; (c) Singaporean Influence on Psychotherapy; (d) Singaporean Limitations; (e) Self and Therapist Development; and (f) Developed Confidence. The categories had 17 embedded themes. This data could be used to enhance the training programs in Singapore, provide areas for systemic changes in the field of counseling in Singapore, and foster additional research.


Sigaporean, Training, Masters, Counseling, Students

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.