Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dodie Limberg


The integration of behavioral health into primary care settings, otherwise known as integrated care (IC), is a movement growing in momentum and continues to challenge traditional healthcare occurring in silos. Through an IC modality, healthcare consumers receive all their care through a “one stop shop” approach and previous outcomes have suggested an overall benefit for an individual’s holistic health, as well as savings for healthcare settings. Counselors are in a prime position to join IC teams and contribute to consumer healthcare outcomes through a unique professional identity. The aim of this dissertation study, which consisted of three completed manuscripts, was to holistically understand the IC movement through a counseling lens. The three completed manuscripts consist of: (a) a scoping review of IC literature within counseling journals to understand the current state of IC within counselor education and to synthesize implications for future research; (b) a systematic review of training strategies to prepare counselors to work in IC settings, as well as assess the quality of research documenting trainings; and (c) a survey design that explores the relationship between levels of care integration and wellness. Overall, the results suggest that additional scholarship at the consumer level is needed to demonstrate the benefit of IC and counseling scholars must explore assessment strategies to understand the theoretical link between IC and wellness.


© 2023, Alexander McClain Fields