Murdock, Jennifer L.

Committee Member

Helm, Heather

Committee Member

Clemens, Elysia

Committee Member

Vaughan, Angela


Applied Psychology and Counselor Education Counselor Education and Supervision


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



375 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


This research study examines the experiences of counselors in training and how they engage with their supervisors through an attachment lens throughout their first practicum course. These experiences are shared through a narrative methodology. Six participants completed the study and shared their experiences through two semi-structured interviews and a photo elicitation journal writing project. The participants were located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The data was analyzed through the use of open and axial coding and the constant comparative method to create narrative categories. Two member checks were conducted with the participants of the study and an auditor was utilized to increase trustworthiness and reduce researcher bias. Eight narrative categories emerged from the data and were shared with the use of a poem that represented a grand narrative which highlighted common experiences across participants. The narrative categories included: Personal History, Internal Working Models, Transition into Practicum, Experience of Threat, Attachment Strategies, Perceptions of Supervisor’s Response, Deactivation of the Attachment Behavioral System, and Relational Transformation. Implications for Counselor Education include utilizing the emergent narrative categories to shape counseling curriculum and the manner in which supervisors approach their supervisees to meet their attachment needs and influence their professional identity development.

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Copyright is held by the author.