Lived Experience of Counselors in Thai Universities

Jonathan Garrett and Donald A. Johnson
Assumption University of Thailand

Page 33

The purpose of this study was to understand and describe the lived experience of
university counselors at universities in Thailand through hermeneutic phenomenology.
Participants of this study were persons who have held a position of counselor for
at least one year at a university in Thailand, and who have at minimum a master’s
degree in counseling or psychology. This study consisted of four participants. Each
participant engaged in semi-structured interviews and commented on aspects of their
experiences in providing counseling within the university environment. Three themes
emerged from the lived experience of the respondents: navigating their roles, navigating
their environments, and maintaining professionalism. These three themes shape an
overarching phenomenon that describes the experience of the university counselor:
versatility. The essence of versatility is being nimble enough in one’s role to answer the
myriad needs of diverse clients in an atmosphere that may not equip the counselor with
immediate support. Independence and an ability to exercise autonomy are essential.
The conclusions of this study promote further exploration of counselors’ experiences and
suggest ways for Thai universities to pilot initiatives that will professionalize counseling
and improve support to counselors..
Keywords: University counseling, hermeneutic phenomenology, lived experience,
emerging adults, Thai higher education

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *