Cultural Reflexivity in Counselor Professional Identity Development of International Doctoral Students

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Summer 2022


International counseling students in the United States come from a variety of different nationalities and cultures. From cultural to individual aspects, the experiences and the development of their identities are complex by nature. This interpretative phenomenological analysis explored the experiences of cultural reflexivity among international counseling students (N=5) that helped them to formulate their sense of counselor professional identity. Four main themes were identified, Unique Cultural Identities, Counseling Around the World, From Cultural Reflection to Cultural Integration, and Empower to Self-Advocacy. This study showed that cultural reflexivity is a common practice within international counseling students (ICS) individual processes, and that cultural integration is an essential aspect of their professional identity development as counselors. Concepts around ICS’ conceptualization of counseling and cultural identity were explored, and applicable implications were provided for counselor education, clinical practice, supervision, and leadership and advocacy.


Edith Gonzalez

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences