Positive and problematic dissertation experiences: The faculty perspective

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Counselling Psychology Quarterly


We interviewed 14 clinical and counseling psychology faculty regarding their experiences chairing positive and problematic dissertations. Data were analyzed using consensual qualitative research (CQR). Participants reported that advisors’ roles involved guiding/facilitating dissertations and helping students shape research ideas; students’ roles included taking responsibility, working independently, and maintaining good relationships with the chair/committee. With positive dissertation experiences, chairs and students collaborated before the dissertation, worked together well during the dissertation, and students began the dissertation feeling competent and motivated; such dissertations positively affected participants. Problematic dissertation experiences evinced difficult relationships between chair and student, and students’ low research capability; such dissertations negatively affected participants.


Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 55-69 (2011). DOI: 10.1080/09515070.2011.559796