Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Chair

Stephen Zanskas

Committee Member

Richard James

Committee Member

Melanie Burgess

Committee Member

Brenna Breshears


This dissertation explored the lived experiences of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) that sought and participated in individual counseling sessions. I examined barriers that EMTs in the United States face, as well as discussed relevant literature from current research. By implementing a phenomenological approach that utilizes convenience sampling, this study uncovers the lived experiences of EMTs participating in individual counseling sessions. I interviewed seven EMTs that had participated in at least three individual counseling sessions to understand their experiences. In this investigation, I discovered that these EMTs believed that seeking therapy might be perceived as a sign of weakness by their peers. These EMTs revealed that they did not feel understood by the therapists they had seen to receive counseling services. When it comes to therapist education, they expressed concern that it was insufficient in meeting their needs. The purpose of this study was to educate counselors and identify areas for improvement when working with this demographic. This study was conducted to contribute to the paucity of qualitative research in the field of counseling in order to bridge the gap in existing literature, as well as to aid in the expansion of counseling services available to this community. The objective of this research is to aid in the development of educational programs for serving this vulnerable population.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access