Meaning-Making Lenses in Counselling: Discursive, Hermeneutic-Phenomenological, and Autoethnographic Perspectives

Tom Strong, Nathan R. Pyle, Cecile deVries, Dawn N. Johnston, Allison J. Foskett


Counselling can be seen as a context or process for meaning-making where clients and counsellors actively interpret and construct meaning. We examine meaning-making in counselling through the lenses of three research methods: (a) discourse analysis, (b) hermeneutic-phenomenology, and (c) autoethnography. Specifically, we relate the process and experience of counselling in ways consistent with how meaning-making is regarded by each of these research methods. In this regard, we describe each method as if it was a counselling theory. We conclude by reflecting upon how these lenses on meaning-making and counselling can inform counselling practice generally and generatively.

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