Professional Identity Development among Master's Level Rehabilitation Counselor Trainees: A Qualitative Study

Julia Louw
Bryan Austin
Eniko Rak
Erin F. Barnes, University of Texas at El Paso


Developing a strong professional identity is essential to counselor’s development but this topic still remains an elusive construct. This study explores master’s student’s professional identity by employing Hall’s model of professional identity development. Data was collected through five open-ended items which was part of the RCPIDS scale and analyzed using grounded theory. Findings indicates both structural and attitudinal level factors has an impact on students’ professional identity development. The authors advocate for the facilitation of new strategies towards positive student experiences to enhance a strong and unified professional identity.