Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of ten practiced American high school counselors and their work with student substance users. The results of this study provide a rich description and deeper understanding the school counselors’ social and cultural worlds--Illuminating the circumstances under which the participants found students to be in serious and foreseeable harm due to substance abuse. Using a pure phenomenological qualitative research design, the study was conducted through the theoretical lens of the social constructivist model of ethical decision-making in counseling. The data revealed three major themes and several subthemes. The first theme, “Community and School Climate,” discusses the high school counselors’ reflections of working within their social and cultural environments. Subthemes include a) residential attributes and b) school climate and expectations. The second major theme, “Perceptions of School Counseling Role,” explores the high school counselors’ perceptions of their professional and ethical responsibilities. Subthemes include a) protector and advocate and b) what the job is not. The third major theme, “Red Flags,” examines what variables led the participants in this study to consider breaking confidentiality. This theme’s subthemes are a) drug severity and use considerations and b) deal breakers. These findings are further discussed and implications for future practice and research are provided.
© The Author
Atanasov, Kathryn Goss, "A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of High School Counselors involved in Determining Serious and Foreseeable Harm in Cases of Student Substance Abuse" (2016). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1463428486.