A balancing act, counsellors' integration of professional experiences in their personal journeys

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Carlson, Tara L.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the preparation for and the practice of counselling on counsellors personally and interpersonally. Ways to maximize the benefits and manage the dangers were also addressed. The qualitative study gathered data through three rounds of in depth, semi-structured interviews with seven participants. The participants were all female counsellors with a minimum of 10 years of counselling experience who were practicing clinically with adults. The question was investigated using a grounded theory design. A theme analysis of the data found results consistent with those of previous studies in the area. The analysis produced some key themes which repeatedly reflected that becoming a counsellor has definite impacts upon counsellors and their relationships. They felt that much of who they are is linked to what they do and they also provided some insight into their process of change. Overall, the changes they experienced were regarded as life enhancing despite hazards.(Abstract shortened by UMI.)