Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Oswald

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear


The major purpose of this study was the examination of the incidence and nature of the intuitions of therapists. A secondary purpose was to create and evaluate an alternative approach to the study of human subjective experience. The research was completed in three phases.

Phase 1 involved creating a paradigm about intuition based on historical perspectives and viewpoints. Sixteen basic theoretical constructs about intuition were developed following an extensive synthesis and integration of philosophic and psychological literature.

In Phase 2, the paradigm was evaluated using the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis, which allows for the continual emergence of new ideas as information is generated. Eighty-two private practice therapists in southwestern Michigan with a mean of 8.4 years of experience responded to a 35-item questionnaire. In addition, 13 therapists, 6 females and 7 males, participated in hour-long structured interviews. Data from the questionnaires and the interviews with therapists provided ideas to evaluate the initial paradigm developed in Phase 1.

Using a process called theoretical reformulation in Phase 3, ideas were integrated into the original paradigm. None of the 16 constructs were refuted and 2 remained unchanged. Information collected as part of the study was used to modify 14 constructs.

Significant findings were: (a) a strong of belief in intuition among therapists; (b) a slightly higher intensity of belief in intuition by female therapists than males, but no appreciable differences in how intuition was viewed or experienced; (c) intuition as a preconscious attending process was first perceived as mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual phenomena; (d) intuition having both spontaneous forms or active, deliberate forms that can be enhanced by therapists; and (e) intuition was a continuous ongoing process, not a discrete event, and the problem for therapists is access.

The constant comparative method of qualititative analysis used allowed for needed flexibility in the research process. The steps followed in building, testing, and reformulating the paradigm about intuition were evaluated as valuable in combination with the survey methods of questionnaire and interview.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons