Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Monica Leppma

Committee Co-Chair

Jeff Daniels

Committee Member

Lisa Platt

Committee Member

Natalie Shook


The release of the APA (2011) Revised Competency Benchmarks used for evaluation of doctoral-level psychology trainees calls for literature to examine competencies in this population with use of appropriate instrumentation. The recent publication and validation of the Professional Competencies Scale-Revised (Taylor, 2015) allows for researchers to explore factors associated with trainee competencies as it relates to the benchmark system. Previous literature suggests a strong relationship between counselor self-efficacy and professional competency (e.g., Constantine, 2002), suggesting that interventions that can foster these constructs may lead to enhanced counseling performance. This study examined the predictive value of mindfulness and self-compassion for self-assessed professional competency and counselor self-efficacy in a sample of counseling and clinical psychology doctoral trainees (n = 192). The relationships among mindfulness, self-compassion and training year were also explored. The results of stepwise linear regression analyses revealed that higher levels of mindfulness were associated with greater levels of self-compassion, and higher levels of self-compassion were associated with greater levels of counselor self-efficacy and self-assessed professional competency. Findings also indicated potential mediating effects that self-compassion has on the relationship between mindfulness and outcomes variables (counselor self-efficacy and self-assessed professional competency). This study provides relevant information to operationalize self-compassion and mindfulness as contrasting, yet similar, constructs. In addition, similarities and differences between counselor self-efficacy and perceived competency are highlighted. Implications for educational programs and training sites are discussed, as well as strengths and limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.