552 The Professional Counselor | Volume 10, Issue 4 the research team. The auditor suggested the removal of one theme and the consolidation of two others. The research team discussed the external auditor’s feedback and incorporated their theme reduction suggestions to help clarify the meaning and representation of the data. Finally, we met one more time to discuss our final five themes and confirmed that our findings accurately represented the essence of participants’ experiences of emotionally intense gatekeeping. Trustworthiness In this study, we used several measures to achieve congruent trustworthiness within the phenomenological research tradition (Flynn & Korcuska, 2018). First, in order to uncover the essence of our experience without completely detaching from the world, we bracketed our prior theories, interpretations, and assumptions of the phenomena through multiple team discussions (Gearing, 2004). To track our discussions during the data collection and analysis phases, the lead author kept a reflexive journal to help us account for our presuppositions and interpret the data accurately. Second, we offered participants a member check of their interview transcripts. Each participant was asked to review their transcript for accuracy and was provided an opportunity to elaborate further on their initial statements. Five participants elaborated on their thoughts to clarify meaning. Third, the lead author kept an audit trail detailing the times and dates of participant interviews, sampling procedures, and member checks, and a summary of the discussions between the researchers (Creswell & Poth, 2018). Fourth, the letterwriting activity yielded another data source to triangulate our findings (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Finally, the auditor in this study challenged the research team to revisit our prior assumptions of emotionally intense gatekeeping experiences to ensure monitoring of potential bias. Reflexivity Statement The research team included two counselor educators employed as full-time faculty at two different midsized universities in the Midwest United States, and one graduate student with knowledge of gatekeeping and research experience at the first author’s university. The first author identifies as a White, able-bodied, middle-aged male and pre-tenured counselor educator. The second author identifies as a White, able-bodied, middle-aged male and pre-tenured counselor educator, and the third author identifies as a White, able-bodied, young adult female counseling graduate student. Our main assumptions before starting this study were that (a) emotionally intense gatekeeping experiences elicit only negative emotions from faculty; and (b) discussion of emotionally intense gatekeeping experiences is considered taboo for fear of litigation or unwanted attention. These assumptions stemmed largely from our own experiences as students in counselor training programs. Each of us experienced times when we knew faculty were engaged in gatekeeping. These experiences modeled gatekeeping for us and demonstrated how faculty balance protecting students from peers who may be engaged in problematic behaviors. Results We identified five themes from counselor educators’ emotionally intense gatekeeping experiences: (a) early warning signs, (b) elevated student misconduct, (c) student dismissal, (d) legal interactions, and (e) change from experience. Early Warning Signs Most participants (n = 10) discussed behavioral and academic issues with students that, at first, appeared to be fixable through remediation and interventions. During these experiences, participants reported feeling shock, frustration, irritation, and sadness. For example, Rose shared how faculty noticed that a student was making poor choices and how they tried to intervene quickly: