Perspectives of school counselors compared with the comprehensive school counseling-guidance model of Gysbers and Henderson: A qualitative study of a school counseling-guidance program

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Richard E. Pearson


School counselors, Norman C. Gysbers, Patricia Henderson, Guidance, Counseling

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Existing school counseling literature indicates widespread utilization of the Gysbers and Henderson (2000) school counseling-guidance program model as a useful point of comparison for school counseling practice. However, the literature provides little insight into practicing school counselors' perceptions of the foundational elements of the model. In this qualitative study, the six school counselors of the Robertsville Jr.-Sr. High School counseling-guidance program were observed, interviewed as a group, and interviewed individually. Once these data were analyzed, a description of this counseling-guidance program was formed by the researcher to address six main research questions. The major categories of results describe counseling-guidance program functions in relation to the school as a whole and to instructional programs within the school. Also, factors impacting integration of Robertsville's program with the school's educational mission are presented. The comparison of the program description with the Gysbers and Henderson model is presented in terms of the degree of fit between the program and the model. In light of the study's findings, issues related to the utility of counseling-guidance programs, in general, are considered. Finally, an examination of the decision by Robertsville's counselors to reject a formalized model similar to that of Gysbers and Henderson is provided to shed light on influences that may lead school counselors to adopt or reject such models.


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