Searching for Expertise in Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Professional Psychology

Thomas M Skovholt, Michael Helge Rønnestad, Len Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The expertise literature within cognitive science has provided a rich series of ideas which can be used to improve applied practice. The authors of the articles in this special issue have taken many of these ideas and made useful elaborations and extensions. In reaction to the articles, we suggest five blocks to a full utilization of the expertise literature and other constructs in practitioner development. These blocks are: (a) the need to go beyond the cognitive realm to the working alliance for the fundamental construct in the domain; (b) the need to realize that the novice-to-expert path takes a long time - perhaps 15 years - to travel; (c) the inappropriate use of a short experience differential in comparative studies of novices and experts; (d) the importance of reflection for development; and (e) the need for professors, in order to be experts, to also be practitioners in the domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Counseling
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Professional psychology
  • Psychotherapy


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