Counselors as Advocates: Effects of a Pilot Project Designed to Develop Advocacy Knowledge and Confidence in Trainees
While there has been increased attention to advocacy within counseling and counseling psychology, it has been noted that trainees generally feel unprepared to engage in advocacy and do not participant e in this type of work to a large extent, even with increased age or professional experience). The qualitative study summarizes the findings of a project within a graduate multicultural counseling course designed to increase trainee knowledge and confidence related to advocacy. This project required students (N = 19) to complete individual advocacy projects in the community, with opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation of their progress throughout the semester. Student reflection responses about the effects of this project were analyzed using methods from Grounded Theory by a collaborative research team. This process resulted in a core category of responses that included expanded definitions of advocacy, increased self-confidence regarding advocacy work, obstacles encountered, and reactions to the course assignment. Implications and future directions are discussed.