Experiencing Transformative Learning in a Counseling Masters' Course: A Process-Oriented Case Study With a Focus on the Emotional Experience

Gloria Nogueiras*, Alejandro Iborra, Saskia E. Kunnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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This case study investigates the transformative learning process and outcomes of a female master's student in a semester-long counseling skills training course based on experiential learning. The data included the student's longitudinal accounts (11 questionnaires on the emotions experienced in every session and three blog posts) and retrospective accounts (a final reflective written activity and an interview) of her experience in the course. Through a thematic holistic analysis, we identified (1) five phases in the student's learning process, which illustrated her evolving meaning-making of the challenging demands and related changes in her emotional experience and (2) two learning outcomes, including the student's insights into the meaning of learning and her increasing self-awareness. The findings are discussed with an emphasis on the value of tracking learners' emotional experience to understand their transformative changes, the contribution of experiential approaches to trigger such changes, and the potential of a process-oriented approach to investigate transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-95
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Transformative Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2019


  • higher education
  • transformative learning
  • process-oriented approach
  • emotions
  • case study

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