Status Update: Perceptions of Counselor Competence on Social Networking Sites

Meredith Drew, Jeremy Ashton Houska, Matthew D. Federici

Abstract


Social media is an integral part of students’ and our clients’ lives. These sites can be utilized to reach those in need of counseling support. The current study investigated the impact of content and degree of self-disclosure by fictional counselors on Facebook. Graduate counseling students role-played as potential clients and rated the perceived competence level of these fictional professional counselors. It was predicted that a moderate level of appropriate self-disclosure would direct clients to select a particular counselor. Additionally, we hypothesized that status updates related to professional events drive perceptions of counselor competence. Findings of this study revealed specific characteristics of Facebook profiles that evoke high levels of perceived competence and interpersonal warmth. Professional counselors can apply these social media strategies to manage their online presence and foster productive working relationships.


Keywords


counselor, social media, competence, professional, perceptions

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