Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Tollerud, Toni (Distinguished teaching professor)

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Counseling Psychology; Cross-cultural counseling--Research; Q technique--Research; Mental health counselors--Attitudes--Research; Minorities--Counseling of--Research


Research has shown an increase in the study and discussion of international counseling throughout the past decade in the mental health community. This dissertation highlights the increased need for the counseling profession to take steps to promote counseling support to over 450 million people who lack access to counseling support throughout the world. This study advocates for steps toward developing a greater understanding of the traits deemed most important among experts of international counseling. An overview and description of the needs are reviewed and discussed in relation to international organizations and associations striving to make a difference, who continue to support efforts toward counselor development and advocacy.;This study utilized a Q-methodology research design in order to capture an understanding of what international counseling professionals consider to be the most important traits for counselors to consider when counseling in international settings. Descriptive statistics offered a standard factor analysis and participant demographic, revealing insight into attitudes and perceptions of counseling educators and trainers in the field from a variety of backgrounds. The goal was to inform counselor educators and practitioners to understand unique concepts of international counseling, in order to assist in meeting the need for counseling services around the world more efficiently. A uniquely-constructed Q sort model developed from a careful review of the literature, and resulted in Q = 35 sample items evaluated by 35 participants. International counseling traits formed the sample items out of four categorical domains from the literature review, including: international counselor identity, crisis intervention, multicultural/ cross-cultural counseling, and social justice/ counseling advocacy.;The results from the Q sort analysis lead to deeper conversation about the 12 highest ranked international counseling traits. These 12 traits, along with comments and reflections by participants, revealed three core themes that emerged from the data. These themes are depicted as valuing people, personal character, and multicultural intentionality. Discussion about the highest traits, core themes, and participant demographics are evaluated and explored with consideration of future implications for international counseling as a whole.


Advisors: Toni Tollerud; Teresa A. Fisher.||Committee members: Cynthia Campbell.


203 pages




Northern Illinois University

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