Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Theodore Remley

Committee Member

Danica G. Hays

Committee Member

Timothy Grothaus

Committee Member

Tammi Milliken


With CACREP's increasing attention to majority cultural group memberships and its influence on trainee self-awareness and the counseling relationship (see CACREP 2001/2009), heterosexually-identified counselors have little or no opportunity to increase awareness of their own sexuality, creating challenges when working with clients of various sexual identities. The purpose of this article is to present a qualitative analysis of conceptualized heterosexuality and its influences on the counseling process. A model of the process by which heterosexually-identified counselors conceptualize their heterosexual identity and its influences the counseling process is proposed. Results suggest that providing counselor trainees an opportunity to explore the relationship between conceptualized heterosexuality and the counseling process have the potential of increasing counselor effectiveness with clients of dominant and non-dominant sexual orientation status. The authors further present strategies for addressing conceptualized heterosexual identity in counselor preparation. Implications for future research are also discussed. A review of the relevant professional literature is presented.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).