The Lived Experiences of African American Males in Becoming Counselors and Counselor Educators
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
DepartmentSpecial Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling
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The counseling profession has evolved over the years from traditional White men dominating the profession to a more diverse culture of helping professionals that vary in race, gender, and age. Despite the growth and revolution of the profession, African American male counselors and counselor educators are still underrepresented in the counseling profession. The paucity of African American male counselors and counselor educators negatively impacts participation in counseling services among African American men and the degree to which they pursue careers in the counseling profession. To become counselors and counselor educators, African American men who currently serve in the counseling profession had to overcome the negative stigma and stereotypes of counseling and mental health, which are prominent in the African American community. The purpose of this study was to discover common themes in the career paths among African American male counselors and counselor educators who overcame negative stigma and stereotypes of counseling and mental health to pursue a career in the counseling profession. Through phenomenological analysis, five themes emerged from data collected via individual interviews. Implications of these findings for counselor education, including strategies to recruit and retain Black men in the counseling profession, are discussed.