Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-21-2018


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart

Committee Member

Eric Owens

Committee Member

Jered Kolbert


grounded theory, home and community based counseling, wellness, counselor wellness, home-based


Home and community based counseling services have become instrumental to the treatment of children and adolescents struggling with mental illness. Counselors working in these systems of care face significant challenges in this unique setting. Most home and community based counselors (HCBCs) face these challenges as recent graduates, not having adequate preparation for the home setting, while receiving little supervision. HCBCs have reported feeling isolated and unsupported and question their effectiveness as counselors. Macchi, Johnson, and Durtschi’s (2014) results point to the importance of self-care to HCBC wellness, especially when the HCBC is lacking supervision. Yet, we are unable to glean from prior research which self-care strategies may benefit the HCBC. It is also unclear how systemic factors may affect HCBC wellness. A broad review of the literature revealed that studies examining the individual and organizational factors that may influence counselor wellness have yielded inconclusive results. Individual interviews were conducted with eight HCBCs and four supervisors working for three different home and community counseling agencies and data were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory. Out of the grounded analysis, this researcher identified seven concepts: helping others, confronting the realities of the work, taking care of yourself, finding support, striving for work-life balance, and moving forward. The experiences shared by the HCBCs and supervisors make it clear that it is not just the individual practices that matter, organizational and supervision practices impact wellness as well. Recommendations for supervisors, HCBCs, and agencies are provided.