The current study used qualitative methods to examine the perspectives and experiences of 18 peer-nominated exemplars of social justice practice in psychology and counseling. A 9 question semi-structured interview was conducted with each participant addressing 4 research questions: What is social justice in counseling and psychology? How did the exemplar develop his or her orientation towards social justice? What challenges are associated with the exemplar's social justice work? How does the exemplar maintain his or her vitality and resiliency? The data was analyzed using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) methods. A total of 51 themes emerged from 1,061 minutes (17 hours, 41 minutes) of interview data. These themes were grouped into 13 domains. The results present a nuanced picture of the practice of social justice in counseling and psychology, an engaging, personal perspective on the development of social justice orientation, a detailed examination of the challenges associated with social justice work, and key practices that can be used to sustain vitality and resiliency. The research process and results show that psychologists, counselors, social workers, family therapists, and other mental health practitioners are actively engaged in social justice work and have developed a thoughtful, cohesive set of practices that can be informative to those in practice, training, and research.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2013. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Michael P. Goh. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 176 pages.
Sumner, Adam D..
A study of peer-nominated exemplars of social justice commitment in counseling and psychology.
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