COUNTERTRANSFERENCE REACTIONS IN A CROSS-RACIAL DYAD: THE ROLE OF THERAPIST UNIVERSAL-DIVERSE ORIENTATION AND PRESENTATION OF CLIENT STRENGTHS

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2004-05-04

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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of universal-diverse orientation (UDO) and information on client strengths on European American therapists' countertransference to an angry African American client. Forty-five European American therapist trainees completed a measure of UDO and were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in which they were either given or not given information on client strengths. Therapists then watched and responded to a videotape of an angry African American client. Countertransference was measured in terms of therapist state anxiety, cognitive recall, and behavioral avoidance.

Results showed that therapist UDO was significantly and negatively related to their countertransference reactions in a cross-racial situation. Additionally, results were not significant for the main effect of information on client strengths and for the interaction of UDO and information on client strengths on countertransference reactions. Implications for counseling and future research were explored.

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