I Am Mother. I Am Counselor. A Phenomenological Study of Supervised Relicensed Counselors Who Are Mothers




Clifford, Susan Diane

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experience of supervised prelicensed counselors who are mothers to gain a greater understanding of the phenomenon. The essence of experiences was examined through the lens of Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT). This study included four core areas of focus: (a) women, work, and motherhood, (b) professional counselor identity formation and development, (c) postgraduate counselor supervision, and (d) Relational-Cultural Theory. Ten supervised prelicensed counselors who are mothers were interviewed for this study. Data analysis followed Creswell's (2007) and Morrissette's (1999) qualitative methodology to obtain the essence of the experience. Thematic clusters and subthemes emerged from the research. Thematic clusters include: The Mother Role: Then You Have Your Own and Everything Goes Out the Window, The Prelicensed Counselor Role: Pay Your Dues, Mother As Counselor: It's Really Gone Hand In Hand, Managing Stress: Which Alligator is Close To My Boat, Mentorship: It Is A Unique Relationship, The Future: Trying To Find A Voice. Major findings with implications for counseling practice, counselor education, and counseling supervision were discussed. Suggestions for future research were provided.


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