Personal Development

This page provides links to several pages on our website that address the personal development of our graduate students in the counseling program.

Critical Competencies

The Messiah College Counseling Program is committed to ensuring that students from our program are well-suited for the professional demands, roles, and responsibilities of the counseling profession.  In order to help assess the students’ preparation we have developed four critical competencies that all students must achieve throughout the program.

Students will self-reflect upon these competencies from their application for admission to their application for graduation and at various points throughout their program.  Instructors will assess each student on these competencies in every class the student completes.  The Program Director and Advisor will review the evaluations individually as they are distributed, and three times a year, the Graduate Program in Counseling will review them as a whole.  Finally, the students will reflect on their growth in these areas as part of their final reflection paper.

Remediation Process and Procedure

Graduate counseling students are assessed on the department’s critical competencies, professionalism, and performance on an ongoing basis. Department faculty and administrators meet tri-annually to review the progress of all students. If students are deemed in need of improvement they will be contacted by their advisors and a development plan may be put in place. Details of this process are provided on this page.

MMPI-2 and Personal Counseling

Prior to enrolling in Practicum, graduate students must either obtain a personality evaluation which includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) or complete 4-6 sessions of personal counseling.  If a student chooses the MMPI-2 option, they are also required to complete a minimum of one follow-up visit with a qualified clinician to discuss the results and to submit a reflection essay (300-500 words).  Students who choose the personal counseling option will be required to complete a reflection essay (300-500 words) as well. 

Part of the process of becoming a counselor is an ongoing commitment to self-awareness. Students often have strong emotional reactions to the content of counseling courses or skill-development experiences. Students may also become aware of something about themselves that impacts their present or future work with clients. It is important to acknowledge these reactions and in some cases utilize the help of a professional counselor/therapist to process them. Our Personal Counseling page provides resources for locating a counselor.