Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs

Publication Date



This study explored the lived experiences of counseling professionals conducting suicide risk assessments for youth kindergarten through 12th grade receiving a suicide risk assessment recommendation. A qualitative phenomenological approach was utilized to capture the perceptions of the participants in this study. Fifteen (15) in depth, semi-structured interviews and a focus group with seven (7) returning participants were the primary sources of data for this study. Five (5) themes emerged: Care, Supervisory Relationship, Challenges, Symptoms of Vicarious Trauma and Transcendent Growth Experiences. Implications for the counseling profession may encompass enhanced organizational development, supervision, training and clinical preparation for counseling professionals providing a vital service to youth and their families.


Counseling professionals, empathy, posttraumatic growth, suicide risk assessment, supervision, and vicarious trauma.

Document Type




Degree Name

Counselor Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Advisor

Rifenbary, Deborah

First Committee Member (Chair)

Goodrich, Kristopher M.

Second Committee Member

Perry, Christina M.

Third Committee Member

Kamal, Reshma

Available for download on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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