A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Wellness Experiences of Student Counselors in Practicum and Internship Who Are Concurrently Employed as Human Health Service Workers
Burnout is prevalent among the helping professions. Professional counseling ethics direct counselors to practice and maintain wellness and self-care in an effort to avoid burnout and impairment. In addition, student counselors who maintain employment are at a higher risk of burnout. The current study explored the lived wellness experiences of student counselors in practicum or internship whom are concurrently employed as human health service workers. Eleven participants submitted demographic data and completed a semi-structured interview. I qualitatively analyzed the data using the transcendental phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994). The analysis derived eight themes and six subthemes. Primary thematic findings include burnout/role strain, compromise, the self-care hypocrisy, active self-care, mentorship, and mutual benefit of dual roles. Implications for student counselors and counselor preparation are provided. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are suggested.