Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Counselor Education and Supervision

First Advisor

Dr. Marguerite Chabau

Second Advisor

Dr. Martin Wesley


Despite the vow to do no harm that clinicians make upon licensure, incidences of ethical violations of varying kinds in the counseling profession occur fairly frequently, regardless of the many inputs of ethical training in the development of a clinician’s ethical identity. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the application of three deep learning principles in the teaching methods used to instill counselor ethical identity in counselor education masters level ethics courses. Three groups of participants were interviewed: Four Counselor Education Faculty, Three Licensed Practicing Mental Health Providers, and One Non-practicing/Practicing Licensed Mental Health Provider but Sanctioned. The key findings revealed the following themes: synthesis through active learning activities, synthesis through Bloom’s Taxonomy’s cognitive and affective domains, the need for deeper learning of the codes, and the need for deeper awareness of the need for self-care, and recognition of need for consultation, supervision, and personal counseling. The findings of this study demonstrated that although experience with Active Learning and Blooms Taxonomy was reported, deep learning might be gained by integrating neuroscience type learning activities in ethics courses. That approach may strengthen student counselors’ ethical formation and prevent them from committing ethical mistakes affecting their personal and professional lives.


First and foremost, thank you to my husband, Tony Tarver. Your sacrifice of time, energy, and patience over the past 10 years has been extraordinary. Your love for me is so evident. You are my biggest support! Thank you my dear, I love you immensely.

I am especially grateful for my children – Melissa (deceased), Timothy, Rachel, Rebecca, and Michael as well as my grandchildren – Cole, T.J., Greyson, Garrett, Jayden, Kenzley, and Waylon who love me unconditionally. I could not have accomplished earning my doctorate without you.

Thank you, Mom, – Judith Painter, for your love, support, and always believing the best in me. Your prayers sustained me. Thank you to my brothers and sisters who always believed their eldest sibling could do it! I am blessed by the ethic of hard work a gift passed to me by my father – Thomas Harris. My dedication and perseverance kept me from giving up. And, I am sincerely appreciative of the many friends who have followed my story and continued to pray for me. I am blessed beyond measure.

Thank you Dr. Chabau for taking over as my Chair. I could not have been given a better replacement. You have truly been a blessing to me! The finished accomplishment of this dissertation was a result of your belief in me, encouragement, patience, and support. Your dedication to “pristine” work has helped me grow and excel in producing quality research. Thank you, Dr. Wesley, for your contributions as a committee member to help me finish my dissertation, particularly after Argosy’s closure.

I am so very grateful to have pushed forward without giving up! Thank you, Lord, for preparing me for bigger and better accomplishments!