Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Victoria Foster

Committee Member

Carol Tieso


This study infused key elements of creativity into the process of counselor education, exposing students in a counseling skills and techniques course to a curriculum designed to promote tolerance for ambiguity, appropriate risk-taking behaviors, and improvisational skills. Employing a phenomenological strategy of inquiry, the researcher sought to explore the ways the participants made sense of their experience in the course, as well as the ways the experience informed their perspective of counseling and the role of a counselor. Participants recognized counseling as a profession replete with ambiguity and rife with personal and relational challenges. They came to appreciate a clinician's role in establishing and maintaining rapport and developed an understanding of the need to read situations and reason "on the fly." They realized counselors need to be self-aware and aware of their impact on others, open to exploring divergent viewpoints, and possessed of the divergent thinking skills needed to generate new perspectives. By connecting themselves to their students (through modeling), the students to one another (via experiential opportunities), and everyone to the subject (through lectures, interventions, and assignments designed as part of the curriculum), instructors and students alike recognized counseling as an interpersonal creative activity.



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