Microskills Training: Evolution, Reexamination, and Call for Reform Academic Article uri icon


  • For more than four decades, the microskills approach has been the dominant paradigm for training entry-level counseling students. At its inception, the model met a critical need: instruction in discrete counseling behaviors, which at the time was conspicuously missing from training curricula. Although these behaviors have become essential components of training in counseling psychology and other mental health specialties, the authors reexamination of the literature leads them to question the overall adequacy of the model. After reviewing prominent textbooks in the field and evaluating the research on microskills training, the authors identify five serious limitations of the model. While respecting and retaining the positive features of the microskills approach, its limitations bespeak the need to develop training paradigms that embrace a broader model of counselor competence.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ridley, C. R., Kelly, S. M., & Mollen, D.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Ridley, Charles R||Kelly, Shannon M||Mollen, Debra

publication date

  • January 1, 2011 11:11 AM