What’s It All About? A Qualitative Study of Meaning in Life for Counseling Psychology Doctoral Students
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly
The interviews of 10 female counseling psychology doctoral students regarding their views about meaning in life (MIL) were analyzed using consensual qualitative research. The participants defined MIL as goals or purposes, were actively involved in searching for meaning, and believed that MIL had been stimulated by life-changing experiences and culture. On a personal level, they gained meaning from relationships, personal growth, and religion/spirituality. On a professional level, they gained meaning from providing therapy, conducting research, and teaching. As therapists, participants approached MIL indirectly by asking about client goals/motivations or by focusing on other clinical problems that if resolved would enhance MIL. Implications for doctoral training and for psychotherapy are offered.