This paper describes how a group of counselors and counseling lecturers at a rural university in New South Wales, Australia, initiated an exploration of their personal experiences as health care providers using an innovative research approach in which they engaged in a series of open, tape-recorded conversations with one another about their work. Their method also included transcribing and analyzing their narratives in a search for underlying themes in the thoughts and feelings that they shared. The intent behind their project was to find a way to voice how health care providers are affected by their work, and in so doing to make public the kinds of concerns, disappointments, fears, and difficulties they encounter -- feelings that are seldom mentioned in the literature. The group was also hoping that their approach might invite other health care providers to engage in similar dialogues about how they, too, are personally affected by the work they do.


Dr. MacCormack would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Annmaree Wilson, M.A., Rob Hadfield, Mlitt., Jane Clark, B.A. (Hons), Frances Mackay, MCouns., & Margo Schofield, Ph.D., in the preparation of this article.

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