Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Franco Dispenza

Second Advisor

Melissa Zeligman

Third Advisor

Erin Mason

Fourth Advisor

Hongli Li


The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has been ravaging the world since 2019, resulting in deleterious impacts on mental health for the general population, as well as frontline health care workers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020; Holmes et al., 2020). COVID-19 has proven to be especially challenging for professional counselors due to increased caseloads, more severe client concerns, and additional work responsibilities (Litam et al, 2021). These stressors put both counselors and counselors-in-training (CITs) at a heightened risk for developing burnout. In chapter 1, I utilized the framework of event centrality to better situate the impact of COVID-19 and CIT burnout. This framework is positioned within a constructivist approach to counselor education, outlining how a constructivist paradigm may assist us in understanding the experiences of CITs. In chapter 2, I recruited participants for this study by sending materials for distribution to counselor educators at CACREP accredited training programs. A total sample of 152 CITs in CACREP accredited programs were recruited for this study. Data were analyzed using hierarchical linear regression to further examine the relationship between COVID-19 event centrality, CIT burnout, resilience, emotion dysregulation, and global meaning violations. A moderation analysis was then used to identify how constructs of resilience, emotion dysregulation, and global meaning violations buffer the relationship between COVID-19 and CIT burnout. Results revealed that COVID-19 event centrality, resilience, emotion dysregulation, and global meaning violations are predictive of CIT burnout, to some degree. Additionally, results propose that resilience serves as a buffering construct in the relationship between event centrality and CIT burnout. Based on this study, educators may focus on implementing stronger wellness education and practice in CIT training programs in order to combat burnout.


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