The Effect of an Experiential Learning Activity on Counselor Trainees' Empathy and Attitudes Towards Substance Abuse
1 online resource (170 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Substance use disorders are becoming more prevalent in the United States. CACREP-accredited counseling programs recently added a requirement for the training of skills, knowledge, and awareness of substance use disorders to counseling training programs. The stigma associated with people who abuse substances has negative effects on counselors' perceptions of substance use disorders and their substance abusing clients. Experiential learning is a common form of teaching in counseling in general and substance abuse counseling specifically in order to change counselor trainees' views of substance abuse. This study tested the effectiveness of a common experiential learning activity in substance abuse, the abstinence project, on counselor trainees' empathy and attitudes towards clients with substance abuse disorders. This quasi-experimental pre-post control group design used two groups of graduate-level substance abuse counseling courses, one that engaged in the experiential learning activity (n = 16) and one without (n = 22). Four two-way mixed ANOVA's were used to test for interaction effects of time by group. Non-stereotyping attitudes approached significance, F(1,34) = 4.08, p = .051, partial eta squared = .11 in the hypothesized direction. Treatment intervention attitudes, F(1,30) = 2.37, p = .13, partial eta squared = .07; treatment optimism attitudes, F(1,33) = .02, p = .89, partial eta squared = .001; and empathy, F(1,36) = .83, p = .37, partial eta squared = .023, were nonsignificant for interaction effects. There was a main effect for group of treatment optimism attitudes, with the experimental group having higher overall optimistic attitudes towards substance abuse treatment, F(1,33) = 5.25, p = .03, partial eta squared = .14. The results suggest that the experiential learning activity has a promising positive effect on empathy and non-stereotyping attitudes towards people with addiction. Implications as a result of this study, including recommendations for counselor educators and future research are also discussed.
ATTITUDESCOUNSELOR EDUCATIONEMPATHYEXPERIENTIAL LEARNINGSTIGMASUBSTANCE ABUSE
Furr, SusanVeach, LauraFlowers, ClaudiaCrane, Jon
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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