Discourse analysis encompasses a variety of disciplinary approaches that broadly aim to understand how individuals and groups use language to construct and maintain their psychological and social realities. A central concept in discourse analysis is we all use discourse to accomplish our communication goals despite being unaware of most discourses we evoke. While discourse studies could help counseling professionals to better understand how they deploy discourses to maintain identities, inequalities, and status quo, the method is not well-represented in counseling research in the United States. This methodological guide presents an introduction to discourse analysis and an overview of the analytic framework, highlighting discourse studies conducted germane to counseling research and practice.


discourse, discourse analysis, qualitative research, methodological guide

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Chloe Lancaster, Ph.D., CSC, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Lifelong Learning. Her research interests include school counselor accountability, college adjustment for underrepresented populations, qualitative methodology, and adoption and foster care issues. She is receiving specialized, advanced training in discourse analysis and teaches a DA doctoral class. Both co-presenters have presented discourse analysis for counselor educators at the national level.

Melissa Fickling completed her Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2015 and her Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Roosevelt University in 2009. She has published numerous studies in counseling journals, chaired or co-chaired doctoral dissertations of various methodologies, teaches doctoral research courses, and presented on research methodologies.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Chloe Lancaster, University of South Florida, 422 E. Fowler Ave, EDU 105, Tampa, FL 33620, United States. Email: clancaster2@usf.edu

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9836-7315 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5594-0900



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