Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Hulse-Killacky, Diana

Second Advisor

Paradise, Louis

Third Advisor

Remley, Ted

Fourth Advisor

Christensen, Teresa

Fifth Advisor

McCollum, Vivian


This study explored the comparison of microlab discussions of interpersonal competencies and corrective feedback on counselor trainees' defensiveness levels. Additionally, the effects of microlab discussions of interpersonal competencies or corrective feedback on counselor trainees' beliefs about their ability to communicate more clearly, receive corrective feedback with less difficulty, and act on corrective feedback receive more easily were explored. Participants in this study (N = 72) were counselor trainees enrolled in three different universities within the New Orleans metropolitan area. Participants completed the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale: Second Edition (TSCS: 2; Fitts & Warren, 1996) at least three weeks before taking part in a microlab discussion of interpersonal competencies or corrective feedback or not taking part in any discussion. Upon completion of the microlab discussion, participants in the treatment conditions completed the TSCS: 2 for the second time. Participants in the control condition simply met and completed the second administration of the TSCS: 2. Analyses of covariance were conducted on the posttest scores using the pretest as a covariate. Also, interaction effects were explored between demographic characteristics and treatment condition on posttest scores as well as responses to a group evaluation. Results did not support any of the hypotheses associated with participants who engaged in microlab discussion would have a lower defensiveness score as compared to a control group. Promising findings resulted from reactions to both microlabs by participants regarding their beliefs about their abilities to communicate more clearly, receive corrective feedback with less difficulty, and act on corrective feedback received more easily in the future. Also, a pattern associated with the number of courses completed was indicated due to a significant correlation with change in defensiveness course and interaction effects with treatment condition on responses to question 1 and 3 of the group evaluation. Counselor education programs, counselors who work with groups, and counselor trainees may benefit from exploring the possible benefits associated with microlab discussions as a form of pregroup training. Future research may provide more insight into the development of an instrument to more effectively measure defensiveness within the context of receiving corrective feedback. Also, the development of multi-session pregroup training may prove to be more effective in reducing defensiveness levels.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.