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Voices of Parents in Counselor Education and Supervision Programs

The Meaning of Role Strain: Voice of Parents in Counselor Education and Supervision Programs was my dissertation research, performed to complete my doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) from the University of the Cumberlands.

​Inspired by my motherhood journey during higher education, this research sought to understand the role strain experiences of a diverse group of student-parents from CACREP accredited CES programs.

​Within the CES profession, recognized roles include counselor, educator, supervisor, leader, advocate, researcher, and scholar. In a doctoral CES training program, the minimum additional roles of student and intern increase individuals’ role identities. These academic and professional roles compound family domain roles, gender roles, and other social roles. Juggling multiple roles can lead to role strain, or the “felt difficulty in fulfilling role obligations” (Goode, 1960, p. 483).

​This research combined interpretive phenomenological interviewing and photovoice to uncover meaning. Photovoice utilizes photography and storytelling to capture an individual’s worldview, communicate what cannot be said in words, record and reflect community strengths and concerns, promote dialogue, and potentially influence policy change. 

​My participants’ narratives and photographs (see gallery below) tell stories of commitment, sacrifice, hardship, strength, resilience, and accomplishment. Society must hear these stories to encourage change that minimizes role-strain burden, prevents impairment and attrition, and increases student-parents’ coping, self-care, and wellness.

​Participants permitted their photographs to be used for educational and research purposes, including publications, presentations, and exhibits. Participants’ faces are blurred, removed, or covered in pictures to assist with protecting their identities. Synonyms are also used in place of participants’ (and their family/pets) birth names.

The stock photograph used above is by Sarah Chai, who was not a part of the study. Click on Sarah Chai's image to be linked to her Pexel's page.


Their Stories



Please use this feedback form to reflect on The Meaning of Role Strain gallery. You are welcome to share your feelings, thoughts, impressions, questions,  concerns, inspirations (and the like).

Please indicate if you would like your feedback to be considered for publishing on this page. If you would like your feedback to be considered for publishing, please indicate if you would like your identity concealed.  

Thank you for your interest and for being part of the discussion that moves us forward!

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