A Grounded Theory of Experiential Group Training of School Counselors to Engage in Psychoeducational Group Lessons With First-In-Family Students

Sean Finnerty, Melissa M Luke, Jason T. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study reports a qualitative grounded-theory investigation that explored school counselor trainees’ experiences engaging in psychoeducational group lessons with first-generation college-going (first-in-family) high school students. As part of this semester-long, group-based experiential training, counselor trainees developed and implemented school counseling core curriculum lessons (psychoeducational groups) related to career and college exploration in 2 urban high school settings. Findings supported a theory that included 4 main factors: (a) Profession, (b) Student, (c) Group Field Experience, and (d) Self. Subthemes within the factors are explicated, and implications for future practice, training, and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-117
Number of pages19
JournalJournal for Specialists in Group Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019



  • Experiential learning
  • first in family
  • group-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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