Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College for Community Health



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Dana Heller Levitt

Committee Member

Amanda Baden

Committee Member

Leslie Kooyman

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr


This qualitative study, informed by narrative inquiry, examined how counselors described the interplay of values in professional practice. Participant narratives highlighted the challenges they experience in the process of values integration, defined as counselors’ awareness and management of personal values in counseling processes. Participants often made value judgments that occurred rapidly and beneath awareness and only became aware as a result of discordance in the counseling relationship. They further struggled in skillfully working through values conflicts. These findings reveal that values integration is a developmental process that challenges counselors beyond the training years and thus requires an infrastructure that supports them in their professional growth. Participants found that such support was often insufficient and unreliable. The study provides a broader understanding of the values integration process, which previously had been limited by its focus on counselor trainees, and provides implications for practicing counselors and counselor educators.

File Format


Included in

Counseling Commons