Constructing Professional Identity Through an Online Community
Distance Supervision in a Graduate Counseling and a Graduate Marriage and Family Therapy Program
While distance education is solidly entrenched in the American educational scene, clinical training using distance learning technology is not yet so clearly accepted. A review of the literature found very few studies of the use of Internet technology for clinical training. This study used semi-structured interviews combined with Giorgi's method of phenomenological analysis of experiences of students and site supervisors involved in the Amridge University clinical training program. The purpose of the study was to examine the process by which master's degree students are able to construct their professional identity in a virtual environment. Both supervisors and students reported phenomenological evidence that professional identity can in fact be constructed through group interactions based in an Internet class experience.
About the Author
Wayne Perry, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist and supervisor of therapy with nearly 40 years of experience in the field. He is the author of three books and numerous peer-reviewed journals in the fields of marriage and family therapy and pastoral counseling.