This autoethnographic study, from the perspective of novice clinicians, used a directed, or deductive, qualitative content analysis to explore the presence of transcendent experiences, as one aspect of personal growth for three first year clinical psychology doctoral students. A total of fifty-three journal entries describing critical moments during their first-year clinical training and supervision experience were used for this study. Coding categories for transcendence that reflected the quality of “being more” were drawn from existing literature. In descending order of frequency, results from this exploratory study found that transcendence was experienced by these trainees, centered first and predominantly on capacity (or competence), followed by themes involving: the pursuit of truth, the emergence of altruism, the development of self-identity, reflections beyond the self, awe and spirituality and finally, growth through peak experiences. The findings are discussed as they relate to current literature, along with limitations, implications and recommendations, and this author’s personal reflections.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Clinical psychologists; Transcendence (Philosophy)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rosenberg, Joan;