An Exploration of Attunement in Counselor Education
Snead, Katherine F
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Experiences of attunement, a deeply felt and embodied state of consciousness that results from tuning in to oneself, others, events, energies, and the environment, are the basis for realization of innate human capacities for connection and growth (Kossak, 2015). In an educational context, the process of 'tuning in' fosters the development of relationally based and embodied knowledge (Blades and Bester, 2013; Lutzker, 2014). Though rarely referenced and never studied comprehensively in counselor education, attunement contributes to the development of relational qualities and creativity necessary to provide effective counseling services (Duffey, Haberstroh, and Trepal, 2009; Kossak, 2015). Based on a synthesis of knowledge from diverse fields, this study was an exploration of attunement in counselor education involving several forms of measurement and the expressive arts as vehicles through which to foster attuned states. The researcher explored attunement as it occurred among master's level counselors-in-training engaging in improvisational group drumming, an intervention that has been shown to promote attunement (e.g., Kossak, 2008a). Perceptual, behavioral, and physiological measures were used to identify an occurrence of attunement. Audio and video data were used to contextualize the overall drumming experience and the process of 'tuning in' that led to attuned states. Findings from this study increase understanding of the phenomenon of attunement in the context of improvisational group drumming. Results shed light on how relational qualities and creativity develop and may promote more relational-responsive pedagogical practices in counselor education. Ultimately, results may contribute to the development of counselors with greater capacities for relating to diverse clients, responding to the complexities of their work, and creating meaningful change within their communities and society at large.
- Doctoral Dissertations