Postmodern Counselor Education—Foucault and the Developing Counselor

Postmodern Counselor Education—Foucault and the Developing Counselor


About this Episode:

In this episode, Dr. Joel Givens chats with Dr. Aaron Smith about how subtle forms of surveillance, discipline, and normalization (among others) in Counselor Education programs sometimes disrupt students’ abilities to develop an authentic counseling self and can recreate traumatic narratives for students that are survivors of racism and oppression. Dr. Givens uses Foucault’s philosophies on punishment and discipline to inform their conversation and to explore what these kinds of practices can mean for students of marginalized identities in the classroom and in counseling training clinics. He provides some actionable ways that Counselor Educators can reduce the power hierarchy and prevent the abuse of psychological science that often contribute to oppression in counseling and other fields. They finish by discussing some resources listeners can check out to learn more about Foucault and postmodern narrative work in counseling.


About Joel:

Dr. Joel Givens is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He completed his Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Northern Colorado. For his dissertation research, he explored the lived experience of counselor educators’ instruction of presence. Joel has also published on values in counseling, deconstruction, phenomenology, and desire. Currently, he is interested in exploring the intersection of disciplinary power and mental health knowledge. Joel is investigating how counselor education and counseling produces voiceless, docile bodies. He reflects deeply on the fact that counselors are often complicit with a larger social system that both perpetuates and alleviates trauma, suffering, and injustice. Joel has experience as an instructor, supervisor, private counselor, and crisis clinician in an emergency department. He is currently serving as Past-President of the Association for Humanistic Counseling.


APA Citation for this Episode:

Smith, A. (Producer). (2021, April 7). EP201: Postmodern Counselor Education: Foucault and the Developing Counselor [Audio Podcast]. The Thoughtful Counselor. Retrieved from


Thanks to the Following:

Photo by KHALIL MUSA on Unsplash

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