ERIC Number: ED269678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Empathic vs. the Non-Empathic Counselor: Differences in Evaluations by Observers with Experience as Clients.
Beck, Terrence D.; Yager, Geoffrey G.
Previous studies have demonstrated the inability of naive observers (i.e., those who have no counseling training) to differentiate an empathic counselor from a content-only counselor on a variety of counselor rating scales. The present study extends these earlier studies by attempting to determine whether individuals who had been clients themselves would perceive differences between a videotape of an empathic counselor and one of a non-empathic counselors. College students (N=34) who had recently received at least three sessions of personal counseling served as subjects in the study. Subjects viewed one videotape of an empathic counselor and one of a non-empathic counselor, on a counterbalanced basis, and rated each on the short version of the Counselor Rating Form. The results indicated that former clients perceived content-only counseling as highly effective only when a base of empathic communication had been built. The empathic counselor was rated nearly equivalently whether presented first or second. These results emphasize the importance of supportive empathy and the need to teach counselors the skill of empathy. (References and statistical results are included.) (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).