Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Paradise, Louis V.

Second Advisor

Herlihy, Barbara

Third Advisor

Romano, Dawn

Fourth Advisor

Thoreson, Claire


Counselor educators and counseling practitioners today reflect the future direction of the counseling profession; therefore, their opinions are important when discussing how professional counselors can reconcile the basic philosophies of humanistic counseling with the practical advantages and ethical and philosophical disadvantages that appear to be coexistent when discussing the diagnosis of clients and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-Text Revision (DSM). This study sought to provide a reflective and concise description of the current perceptions of licensed professional counselors in reference to their training, their practice, and their dispositions about diagnosis and utilization of the DSM despite its theoretical grounding in the medical model and its chronic problems with gender and cultural bias—all in direct opposition to counseling's humanistic, multicultural model of practice. Results of this study suggested that more training in DSM/diagnosis led to participants' higher perception of their ability to diagnose and utilize the DSM; however, participants' perceptions were split on whether or not training should include psychopharmacology. Results also suggested that LPCs most frequently occurring ethical dilemma in relation to diagnosis involved the reimbursement requirements of insurance/managed care companies; however, they strongly disagreed that diagnosing clients conflicted with their counseling professional identity. Participants strongly agreed that they were multiculturally competent; however, those participants who indicated that they diagnose using a multicultural or wellness perspective did not agree that the DSM does not adequately present disorders in such a way as to allow LPCs to diagnose culturally diverse and female clients accurately.


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