When Professional and Personal Values Collide: A Thematic Analysis of Counseling Students' Developmental Journey through an Ethics Course
School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
Mary M Deacon
Counselor Education, Dilemma, Ethics, Qualitative, Thematic Analysis, Values
Counseling | Counselor Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Kimball, Patricia, "When Professional and Personal Values Collide: A Thematic Analysis of Counseling Students' Developmental Journey through an Ethics Course" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1837.
Ethical practice is a foundational value in the profession of counseling. Ethics education is provided throughout graduate school and considered mandatory in most states to maintain a license. Even with this emphasis on ethics education, violations continue, putting the welfare of clients, communities, the profession and the counselor in jeopardy. One complicating factor in ethics is the difficulty found in addressing values, beliefs, and attitudes during graduate programs. These student dispositions are even more complex to address when values lie at the core of ethical dilemmas. This study examines the writings of master’s level counseling students at the end of an ethics course. A qualitative thematic analysis was used to identify themes related to students’ experiences and what factors promoted change in perceptions during the semester. The following themes were identified: disposition modification, knowledge integration, and inhibitors to change. Implications and further research recommendations are also discussed.