Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Herlihy, Barbara

Second Advisor

O'Hanlon, Ann

Third Advisor

Johnson, Jennifer

Fourth Advisor

Bitter, James R.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of counselor education doctoral students who participated in multiple roles and relationships. Random purposeful sampling was used to conduct in-depth interviews with current doctoral students in CACREP-accredited counselor education programs who had completed at least one year of full-time enrollment as a doctoral student, participated in a minimum of two multiple roles that were provided in an a priori list, and had access to videoconferencing software in order to participate in the study.

The participants in this study reported and described perceptions of their lived experiences as counselor education doctoral students. The primary research question for the study was “How do counselor education doctoral students experience the phenomenon of multiple roles and relationships?” A review of the literature that examined types of multiple roles and relationships between counselor educators and students, ethical standards, and models for ethical management provided the foundation for the study. Semi-structured phenomenological interviews comprised of open-ended questions were used to collect data via videoconferencing software. Audio taped interviews were transcribed and analyzed for key words and descriptive terms. The data were coded into categories, categories were clustered into themes and themes were cross-analyzed to create super-ordinate themes. Super-ordinate themes were used to address the primary and secondary research questions.

Three super-ordinate themes emerged: awareness and education, multiple roles and relationships as transformative, and experiential learning. Implications for counselor education doctoral students and programs are presented along with recommendations for further research. Personal reflections of the researcher were provided.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.