Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Joel F. Diambra

Committee Members

Casey A. Barrio-Minton, Melinda M. Gibbons, Gary J. Skolits


Moving forward, the field of counseling needs to continue to be concerned about strengthening its identity (Kaplan et al., 2014). Part of this process concerns the training of competent and effective professional counselors. It is important that consideration be given to how the individuals preparing these counselors are trained. Counselor education doctoral students, as part of their training to become counselor educators, are prepared to work as counselors, scholars, leaders, supervisors, and teachers. While we have a firm understanding of how these students develop in general (Limberg et al., 2014; Moss et al., 2014), there is little known about how they develop specifically as teachers. The goal of this research study was to gain insight into how teacher identity develops for counselor education doctoral students. Transcendental phenomenology helped to gain insight into the experiences of 10 participants who were interviewed related to the development of their identities as teachers. Three primary themes emerged from the data and were described as (1) Connection, (2) Confidence, or lack thereof, and (3) Who am I, who are you? The findings will help counselor education programs structure the training of their doctoral students so that they will be better able to be supported as counselors, teachers, and individuals.

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