Becoming a Bridge: Collaborative Autoethnography of Four Female Counseling Psychology Student Leaders

Candice Hargons, Melanie Lantz, Laura Reid Marks, Emily Voelkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Women with multiply-marginalized identities remain underrepresented in the American Psychological Association and Society of Counseling Psychology leadership. As early entrants into the leadership pipeline, female student leaders can potentially shift that trend; however, we know little about their leadership emergence processes. In this study, we employed collaborative autoethnography to analyze the positional standpoints of four diverse female counseling psychology leaders. We identified themes in their leadership narratives, which began when they were students. The results focused on factors associated with participants’ leadership emergence processes, the role of marginalized identities in participants’ leadership emergence, and the interplay between counseling psychology values and leadership through the theoretical framework of bridge leadership. We found themes of (a) Leadership Attributes, including future orientation, determination, and connection; as well as (b) Opportunities and Mentorship. Other themes included counseling psychology values of Advocacy, Social Justice, Inclusion, Multiculturalism, and Enhancing Training. Recommendations for students and trainers are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1047
Number of pages31
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • gender
  • leadership
  • mentorship
  • professional issues
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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