Complexities of a Bhutanese school counselling community: A critical narrative insight
Dem, K., & Busch, R. (2018). Complexities of a Bhutanese school counselling community: A critical narrative insight. Australian Community Psychologist, 29 (1), 54-71.
While school counselling was introduced to the Bhutan school system in recent years due to increased concerns about student wellbeing, there is a significant dearth of research on the influences and experiences of the profession. This is the first documented study on school counselling in Bhutan by an insider, a Bhutanese school guidance counsellor. Using social constructionism and critical theory to inform a narrative inquiry methodology, we story the complexities and struggles of a first generation school counsellor in Bhutan. This study enables voice on explaining counsellors’ multifaceted roles and responsibilities, and on disclosing tensions in the school system. School counsellors are challenged by limited training and professional development, and yet are expected to provide expert-led responsive services. Regarding these challenges, we examine the influence of metanarratives (governing community expectations) on counsellor legitimacy – and uncover counsellor counter-narratives as enactments of voice and resistance. We adapted a semi-structured narrative interview and thematic narrative analysis to facilitate participant reconstructions of events with their experiences. Findings suggest a need for relevant stakeholders within the education system to acknowledge and collectively address the current challenges faced by school counsellors.
narrative inquiry study, school counsellors, Bhutan