Perceptions of the home-based counseling experience: Preparation and ethics

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Home-based counselors experience demands, obstacles, and opportunities not present for office-based counselors. The literature reveals that many counselors do not feel adequately prepared to conduct therapy outside of the traditional office setting. The purpose of this study is to help fill this void in the literature by exploring the experiences of home-based counselors and the kind of training and supervision they received from their academic institutions and agencies of employment to conduct home-based counseling. An additional focus was to investigate how prepared they believe they are to provide this type of counseling, particularly in an area of ethics. Interviews and document reviews were utilized to examine perspectives of counselors providing home-based services to their clients. None of the participants felt like their educational institutions contained any preparation for home-based counseling. Two of the participants were satisfied with their agency preparation, three were not satisfied with the training their agencies provided, and one received no agency preparation for home-based counseling. Common ethical issues were discussed in light of how they are unique to the home environment and participants talked about how they handle ethical dilemmas and what resources they find helpful to do so. Participants expressed what would be helpful to make them more effective home-based counselors, leading to recommendations for educational institutions, home-based counseling agencies, home-based counselors, and the field of counseling.

Home-based, Home visiting, Counselors, Ethics, Preparedness