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Counselor Empathy and Client Outcomes

Chapter

Abstract

Chapter 5 describes a study in which verbal and nonverbal components were experimentally manipulated while also varying high and low counselor empathic behaviors. This chapter describes a study that was based on the same literature background and concerns, but that differed somewhat in design and methods. Whereas the former focused primarily on the communication modality, the latter emphasized an entirely natural counseling sequence, except for varying the empathy levels during each counseling session. In addition, this research sought to utilize five clients and five counselors compared to four clients and one counselor. Thus, the purpose was to determine whether manipulating different levels of counselor-offered empathy would be manifested in client behaviors during segments of sessions throughout the natural counseling process. The goal was to determine whether in vivo studies could be made of empathy while maintaining tight experimental controls.

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

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