Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Patrick H. Munley
Dr. Alan Hovestadt
Dr. Kathryn Lewis-Ginebaugh
Despite sexual assault being the second highest reported violent crime in the United States, the literature regarding the experience of counselors who counsel clients who have been sexually assaulted is limited. This qualitative study explored and described the lived experiences of 9 counselors who, in the last five years, have provided counseling services to at least five clients who had been sexually assaulted when they were at least 18 years of age. The phenomenological data analysis approach of Moustakas (1994) was utilized to guide the data collection and analysis. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, the participants were able to share their lived experiences and the meaning of those experiences. Individual interviews were conducted with each participant, either in person or via phone. Follow-up phone interviews were then conducted with each participant. The researcher digitally recorded all interviews, with permission of the participants, and submitted the digital recordings to a professional transcriptionist to be transcribed verbatim.
This process resulted in an understanding of challenges and rewards experienced by counselors who counsel clients who have been sexually assaulted. Five broad areas were identified from the phenomenological data analysis in relation to the experiences of the counselors, including (a) self-care; (b) counseling skills; (c) societal myths about sexual assault; (d) legal issues regarding sexual assault; and (e) the rewards of counseling clients who have been sexually assaulted. These findings may have implications for counselor educators and counseling professionals, and may contribute to the literature on the challenges and rewards experienced by counselors who counsel clients who have been sexually assaulted.
Tremble, Carrie J., "The Counselor Experience in Counseling Clients Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted" (2014). Dissertations. 316.