Development of a training program for volunteer paraprofessional counselor

The purpose of this study was to develop a training program specifically designed to meet the needs of volunteer paraprofessional counselors. Forty-nine counselors from five non-profit, volunteer counseling centers responded to a questionnaire pertaining to their motivation, counseling experience, training experience, and recommendations for improving training. The results suggested that training was often unnecessarily prolonged and lacked a focus on the needs of the paraprofessional counseling center. Group leadership training was inadequate. Experiential training methods were used infrequently. A 24-week training program was designed to actress the needs of a specific counseling center. The program emphasizes experiential activities to teach counseling skills and group leadership training.