Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 6, No. 3 (2009)

The Integration of Diverse Perspectives in Counseling Practice

Adele Baruch-Runyon, University of Southern Maine


This article examines interviews with practitioners and teacher-practitioners who draw from diverse traditions in their counseling practice. Interviewees described areas of commonality and areas of dynamic tensions between the traditions applied. The study examines the ways in which they translated meanings from both contexts. Interviewees appeared, at times, to dichotomize aspects of differing traditions, and at other times, to build effective translations. One teacher-practitioner was able to use a translation of “diagnosis” as a “catalogue of suffering” to broaden understanding between Buddhist and conventional practices, while she also dichotomized each tradition’s understandings of “union” and “boundaries”. Implications for educators include the need for teaching and supervision approaches that encourage culturally sensitive and coherent translations.

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