Struggles of the Novice Counselor and Therapist

Thomas M. Skovholt, Michael H. Rønnestad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


The novice journey can be arduous. This article draws from empirical and conceptual literature on counselor and therapist development to describe seven stressors of the novice practitioner. The ambiguity of professional work is the major catalyst for novice stress. The elements are: acute performance anxiety, the illuminated scrutiny of professional gatekeepers, porous or rigid emotional boundaries, the fragile and incomplete practitioner-self, inadequate conceptual maps, glamorized expectations, and an acute need for positive mentors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Novice counselor
  • Practitioner
  • Stress
  • Therapist


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