School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
COVID-19, emotional intelligence, essential worker, pandemic, psychotherapy, teletherapy, transcendental phenomenology, qualitative research
Stelzer, Marissa Joelle, "Lived Experiences of Counselors: Navigating the Changing Role Using Emotional Intelligence" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4955.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the lived experiences of counselors during the transition from traditional face-to-face counseling to a teletherapy format during the COVID-19 pandemic and how counselors were able to utilize emotional intelligence skills/abilities during this time. The theories that guided this study were the ability model of emotional intelligence and social constructivism. The following questions guided this study: How did counselors experience their changing role from primarily face-to-face counseling to teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic? How did counselors experience emotional intelligence during the transition from traditional face-to-face counseling to teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic? How did counselors experience the utilization of emotional intelligence skills/abilities during this time? Participants’ lived experiences were collected through individual semi-structured interviews coupled with letters of advice. The data analysis was completed following the methods outlined by Moustakas (1994) for analysis. Their experiences were integrated into a universal description of the experience, which became the essence. The essence of this phenomenon was that counselors’ roles changed via technological changes, client care, environmental changes, and logistics. Emotion identification, emotion management, and awareness of/understanding the environment were all experiences that were central to the participants’ experience of emotional intelligence during teletherapy. These findings could help counselors in better serving their clients in a teletherapy format.