Women Counselors' Countertransference Reactions to Women Clients with Body Image Disturbance
Doschek, Elizabeth E.
Gelso, Charles J.
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Women may seek counseling for body image concerns because such concerns are common in society. Women counselors may also suffer from body image disturbance, however. Countertransference is a threat to a counselor's ability to help a client and occurs when client presenting style and/or problem taps into unresolved counselor issues. Women counselors' countertransference reactions to women clients with body image concerns were investigated in light of counselors' body image concerns and client physique in an audiovisual analogue counseling session. Counselors interacted with a video of a woman client discussing body image concerns. Client physique was manipulated such that counselors saw either a client whose physique was close to or far from the societal ideal. No significant relationships were found between the two independent variables (counselor body image disturbance and client physique) and countertransference. The nonsignificant findings are discussed in the context of the low body image disturbance in the sample.