This qualitative content analysis (QCA) examined five American Counseling Association (ACA) journals and their coverage of death related issues: Journal of Counseling and Development (JCD), Journal of Humanistic Counseling (JHC), Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development (JMCD), Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) and Counseling and Values (CV). Of the 5508 journal articles published across all five journals, 59 articles covered death related topics. Eight major death related themes emerged through the QCA process: Research on Death-Related Issues, Personal Reflection and Poetry, Grief and Loss Education, Book Reviews, Responding to Campus Death, Providing Grief Counseling, DSM and Bereavement Diagnosis and Counseling the Dying. Special attention was also given to analyzing how the five journals covered death related issues from a multicultural perspective. Results indicated that minimal attention has been paid to death related issues in the field of counseling. Death will touch 100% of all people and yet it was only covered one percent of the time in the five counseling journals analyzed for this study across 30 years. The results of this study clearly demonstrate an extreme neglect of publishing about death. There is an urgent need to begin and expand a robust research agenda which will help counselors, counselor educators, counselor trainees and most importantly the clients that seek counseling services. Limitations of the study, recommendations for future research and implications for professional practice are provided.


Diane Coursol

Committee Member

Jacqueline Lewis

Committee Member

Karin Lindstrom Bremer

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Counseling and Student Personnel





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