Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Angela I. Sheely-Moore

Committee Member

Michael Hannon

Committee Member

Leslie Kooyman


The mental health symptoms and diagnosis rates of children and adolescents is rising in the United States (Oliver & Abel, 2018). To support the growing mental health rates and offset the work being provided by school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists, schools are contracting with community mental health agencies to provide mental health counseling services in the school setting (Weist et al., 2017b). For some community mental health agencies, they are opening school based mental health clinics (SBMHCs) to provide more comprehensive mental health counseling services to reduce families having to seek services in their community (Weist et al., 2017b). The providers working in the school setting are licensed mental health professionals including professional counselors or mental health counselors and social workers (Mills & Cunningham, 2017). Prior research explored how school counselors acclimated to the school setting when new to the school community (Matthes, 1992; Curry & Bickmore, 2012;2013), however there is no prior research that explored the acclimation of licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs) within the school setting, including LMHCs working in SBMHCs.

This study sought to understand the induction experiences of LMHCs working in SBMHCs located in New York City schools. Drawing from the teacher preparation literature, induction is the process where novice teachers supported and mentored typically at the beginning of their career (Curry & Bickmore, 2012, 2013; DeAngelis Peace, 1995). Utilizing a phenomenological qualitative approach to understanding the LMHCs experiences, nine participants were recruited and shared their induction process across two semi-structured interviews. Data was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis which allowed for both a descriptive and interpretative understanding of the findings. As a result, the findings yielded six themes and twelve subthemes which are presented from a descriptive and interpretive lens. A discussion of the findings is presented alongside the relevant literature in addition to the strengths and limitations of the study. Recommendations for future research concludes the dissertation.

File Format


Included in

Counseling Commons