This study investigates the experience of clinical intuition among alcohol and drug counselors. Clinical intuition has been acknowledged as an integral component to counseling by numerous influential theorists, and has recently been researched in the context of clinical psychology, and marriage and family counseling. However, little or no research has been conducted on clinical intuition among alcohol and drug counselors. In order to thoroughly describe the essence of clinical intuition among this population, phenomenological research methods were utilized. Five alcohol and drug counselors with varying backgrounds with between 5-40 years of experience participated in this study. Participants were interviewed, and described how they experienced and utilized clinical intuition in their work. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed according to phenomenological methods. For each participant, a textural analysis, structural analysis, and textural-structural analysis was completed which represented the essence of the individual’s experience. A composite analysis was then conducted and the following essential themes emerged: conditions conducive to experiencing clinical intuition, experiencing clinical intuition, utilizing clinical intuition, circular causality with the therapeutic relationship, cautions, development, and importance. Findings from this study verify, complement, and expand previous research on clinical intuition. Implications for counselor education and supervision are discussed.


John Seymour

Committee Member

Richard Auger

Committee Member

Jennifer Preston

Committee Member

Walter Roberts

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Counseling and Student Personnel



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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