Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2010


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Maola

Committee Member

William Casile

Committee Member

Richard Hoffman


Counselor education, Suicide, Supervision, Training programs


The purpose of this study was to measure the differences in perceptions regarding the vignette of a client suicide between master's level counseling students in their first year of coursework and students getting ready to graduate. The participants (N=75) were asked to read a vignette depicting a client suicide and complete the Jones Clinician Suicide Survivor Survey--Adapted. No significant differences were found between the two groups. Based on the results of the analyses, students who are getting ready to graduate show no differences in how they perceive they would react to a client suicide than do students in their first year of coursework. There were no interaction effects with gender or experience of suicide by a family member, friend, acquaintance, or client. Participation in a counselor education training program did not appear to have affected students' perceptions of how they think they would react to a client suicide. This indicates that students getting ready to graduate have the same perceptions regarding how they would react to a client suicide and how a client suicide might affect them personally or professionally as do students just beginning the counseling program. Based on the results, this study appears consistent with findings in the literature and suggests that mental health professionals are unaware of the extent of the personal and professional reactions they may experience after having a client complete suicide and that training programs are not addressing the topic adequately. A discussion linking the current study to extant research, implications for practice, and suggestions for future research is provided.