Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. James M. Croteau

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Talbot

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Susan Weinger


There is growing interest among scholars to understand the training experiences of international students in applied psychology. Few empirical studies have specifically investigated international doctoral students in counseling psychology. The purpose of the present study was to create an opportunity for the voices of Asian international students in U.S. doctoral counseling psychology programs could be expressed, and to convey their collective voices.

Twelve Asian international students, predominately women from East Asia, participated in two phone interviews. Participants were asked to illustrate their overall training experiences, share helpful and unhelpful aspects of their training, and identify recommendations for faculty and training programs. A phenomenological approach to data analysis was conducted to identify the essence of Asian international students' training experiences in the U.S.

Two main findings emerged. First, participants highlighted the significance of understanding Asian international student training experiences. Participants hoped that faculty would have understanding of the significance of peer relationships, the impact of Asian cultural backgrounds, their internal adjustment and acculturation processes, the experience of using English as a second language, the impact of racism, and financial concerns related to training. The second main finding revealed specific culturally sensitive behaviors that participants desired from faculty including: listen to Asian international students' voices, cultivate positive faculty-student and supervisor-supervisee relationships and interactions, search for cross-culturally sensitive ways to accommodate Asian international students' unique needs, address the applicability of U.S. counseling psychology training to other cultures, address career development issues, appreciate Asian international students' strengths and resiliency, and recognize the benefits of recruiting Asian international students.

Findings of the present study provide a valuable opportunity for faculty to listen to Asian international students' candid voices about their overall training experiences. Notably, almost all of the participants expressed hesitations about communicating their honest voices to faculty, and the majority of participants stated that they had never given feedback or recommendations about their training experiences to faculty prior to this study. Thus, data that emerged from this study provide new and rarely revealed insights, as well as useful implications for improving the training experiences of Asian international students in counseling psychology.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access