This paper posits that to develop empathy, similar to cross-cultural counseling competencies, counselor trainees should be exposed to life experiences of various clients, especially those deemed challenging, and which counselor trainees indicate no desire to work. As it is impractical to expect counselors to experience every type of client, learning about populations through narrative or film may be an option (Gladstein & Feldstein, 1983; Kurkijan & Banks, 1978; Pearson, 2003). Specifically, empathy in masters level counselor trainees both pre and post exposure to narrative and film depictions of violent juvenile offenders was explored. Results indicated that exposure to juvenile offenders through film, narrative, and a combination of film and narrative interventions increased positive attitudes towards offenders and enhanced various components of empathy felt by counselor trainees. Thus, simple and short interventions have the capacity to increase empathy of counselor trainees for specific populations of challenging clients.
Diane H. Coursol
First Committee Member
Karin M. Lindstrom Bremer
Date of Degree
Master of Science (MS)
Counseling and Student Personnel
Matson, Kristin Elisabeth, "Empathic Development of Counselor Trainees for Difficult Clients through Film and Narrative" (2011). All Theses, Dissertations, and Other Capstone Projects. 73.
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