ERIC Number: ED255812
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
The Perception of Empathy in Alcoholism Counselors.
Kirk, William G.; And Others
Because it is often assumed that some similarity in background helps to enhance empathy, recovering alcoholics are sometimes encouraged to become counselors. Theoretically, the recovered alcoholic's drinking history gives him something in common with his alcoholic clients, thus enhancing the therapist's empathic posture. Detoxified clients (N=42) of alcohol rehabilitation centers were randomly assigned to two groups. Before viewing a 15-minute videotape of a simulated alcohol counseling session, both groups were given a description of the videotaped psychotherapist's credentials. One group was told that he was a recovering alcoholic while this information was omitted from the second group's description. Following the videotape viewing, subjects completed a modified version of the Barrett-Leonard Relationship Inventory (BLRI). No statistically significant differences between group means on the empathy subscale of the BLRI were found. This finding did not support the contention that a counselor's history of drinking and rehabilitation enhances the perception of counselor empathy among alcoholics. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (Las Vegas, NV, April 25-28, 1984).