Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Natoya H Haskins

Committee Member

Noelle St. Germain-Sehr

Committee Member

Jan Holden

Committee Member

Rick Gressard


The aim of this qualitative study was to capture the experiences of master's levelcounselors-in-training who take transpersonal counseling courses. Instructors of such courses aim both to help students develop competence in counseling clients who have had transpersonal experiences--those that, despite their occurrence beyond the usual limits of reality, are believed by experiencers to be real (Holden, 1999), and to promote counselor development (Walker, 2022). Participants were four students who had completed such a course, two each from two U.S. universities, one located in the Southwest and the other in the East. I conducted a transcendental phenomenological analysis by interviewing participants, collecting their follow-up journals, transcribing the interviews, coding the transcriptions, categorizing the codes, and thematized the categories to identify some major underlying facets of counselors’-in-training experiences in their courses. Participants reported increased belief in the importance of transpersonal topics in counseling, willingness to address transpersonal topics in counseling, and competence in addressing multicultural transpersonal clinical issues, as well as experiences of holistic development and shifts in clinical focus as a result of involvement with their courses. The outcomes of this study will be used to advance the literature on spiritual counseling competence, counselor development, and the inclusion of transpersonal phenomena in counselor education.



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