Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Ashley N. Hutchison


The development of competencies for counseling persons from varying cultures around the world is an important topic of discussion within the field of counseling psychology (Turner-Essel, & Waehler, 2009; Ng & Noonan, 2012; Gerstein & AEgisdottir, 2007). Mental health and socio-emotional needs know no geographical boundaries and as such require attention in many populations which have limited formal services for these concerns. If we are to follow the multicultural competence guidelines within our discipline (Sue, Arredondo & McDavis,1992; Vera & Speight, 2003) we must meet these needs in a way that first seeks to understand our clients’ cultural backgrounds and provide services which match or appreciate their experience of the world. The present study utilized the Delphi method to develop a list of counseling competency areas for mental health professionals practicing with residents of the English-Speaking Caribbean (ESC). Thirty-three counseling experts in the ESC completed 1-3 rounds of an interactive survey in which they provided 272 competency suggestions and ranked the importance of each competency area. Experts assigned critical ratings via Likert scale responses to 11 Knowledge competency areas, 13 Awareness competency areas, and 24 Skills competency areas. The cultural and professional significance of these competency areas are analyzed and described. Further, strengths and limitations of the current study are presented. Finally, implications for research, training, and practice are discussed.