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Effects of the Counselor’s Gender in Treatment
Adams, E. M. B., Nancy E. (1993). "Gender differences in counselors' attitudes toward and attributions about incest." Journal of Counseling Psychology 40(2): 210-216.

Examined extent to which offender's, victim's, and counselor's gender were related to 111 counselors' attributions about and attitudes toward cases of incest. Found no significant differences as function of either victim or offender gender. Female counselors had broader definitions of incest than did male counselors and were less likely to view incest claims as fantasy.

Bernstein, B. L., C. (1982). "Therapist expectancies: client gender, and therapist gender, profession, and level of training." Journal of Clinical Psychology 38(4): 744-754.

Examined the influence on therapists' expectancies of four variables: Client's gender, therapist's gender, therapist's professional affiliation, and therapist's level of training. A total of 893 counselors, clinical social workers, and clinical psychologists at three training levels (beginning master's student, ending master's student, post-master's professional) completed the Therapist Expectancy Inventory in reference to a male or female client description. Data were analyzed using MANOVA and discriminant function analysis procedures. Significant differences on diagnostic, prognostic, or process dimensions of expectancies were found for the main effects of therapist gender, professional affiliation, and level of training. The client gender effect was not significant. It is concluded that therapists' judgments about the client and their role in counseling are more a function of certain therapist characteristics than client gender.

Carlson, J. B., Laura S.; Brown, Yevette; Tullos, Jon M. (2006). Working with men survivors of trauma and abuse. Washington, D.C., American Psychological Association,.

Dr. Laura S. Brown shows her approach to treating male clients who have been traumatized or abused. Dr. Brown works with a 30 year old man who was physically abused as a child. Dr. Brown is able to begin the process of helping this man to feel safe enough to trust another person. In addition to watching Dr. Brown discuss her feminist therapeutic approach in an interview, you can listen to her voice over comments during the therapy session.

Coleman, S. A., JM;Turin, M. (1990). "A study of the role of gender in family therapy training." Family Process 29(4): 365-374.

A survey of the role of gender in family therapy training programs was conducted by the Women's Task Force of the American Family Therapy Association (AFTA) in order to determine the extent to which gender issues were included in the curriculum. Questionnaires were sent to 285 programs in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. Only 19% (n = 55) of the original sample participated, with the East Coast representing the largest proportion of respondents. Findings revealed that the three most frequently addressed gender issues are: 1) the impact of cultural and economic conditions on single, female-headed families; 2) gender issues associated with wife abuse; and 3) an examination of the implications of the therapist's gender in therapy interventions. Only 27 programs identify with a feminist model or have a clearly defined sense of gender awareness. A significant finding associated with the introduction of feminist content was the difficulty of integrating gender issues with major theoretical models. Trainee resistance and lack of faculty awareness were also considered obstacles to including gender in program curriculum.

Crowder, A. (1995). Opening the Door: A Treatment Model for Therapy with Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse. New York, New York, Brunner/Mazel Publishers.

Clients who have been abused will unconsciously project their past experience onto the present; in many cases, their relationship with the abuser, or some aspects of it, will be projected onto the therapist. These projections, or transferences, need to be decoded and understood in order for the client to become aware of his unconscious patterns. The therapist's gender, as well as the therapist's personal behavior or characteristics, can be responsible for eliciting transferential projections. Gender-focused transference will have unique aspects for each client, depending on his perpetrator's gender, his own sexual orientation, and idiosyncratic aspects of the abuse experience. There is some debate in the treatment community about the importance of the gender of the therapist who treats male survivors. Some say that men who have been abused by a male must be treated by other men in order to restore a healthy sense of masculinity; others, and I am one, believe that the gender of the therapist is a relatively minor issue compared to his or her competence. (Summary by Healthcare Training Institute ( in "Ethical Boundaries & Treating Sexually Abused Boys: Therapist Gender Issues, Abuse, & Boundaries.")

Dillon, B. N., DR; Kamb, ML; Peterman, TA; Douglas, JM; Zenilman, J; Bolan, G; Rhodes, F; Rogers J. (2000). Are counsellors more effective if matched with patients by race or gender? International Conference on AIDS.

Background: To determine if matching patients and counselors (P-C) by gender or race/ethnicity would influence the effectiveness of HIV counseling as measured by STD incidence. Methods: We analyzed subjects from a five-center, randomized control trial of HIV prevention counseling in STD clinics. Eligible patients received standard two-session counseling or enhanced four session counseling from the next available counselor without regard to sex or race. Patients were included in the analysis if they completed at least one follow-up STD exam over a 12-month period. STD included: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV and trichomonas (for women only). Using generalized estimating equations (GEE) we identified factors associated with incident STD. Results: Of the 2885 patients counseled, 664 (22%) were excluded due to failure to complete a single follow up STD exam leaving 2239 in this analysis. Patients were 58% black, 19% white, 16% Hispanic 6% other; and 56% male, 44% female. Counselors were 37% black, 42% white, 13% Hispanic 5% other; and 34% male, 66% female. The P-C race/ethnicity was 53% same and 46% different. The P-C gender was 47% same and 53% different. Most patients (88%) completed their interventions (2 or 4 sessions). Patient completion of the intervention was not influenced by gender or race/ethnicity match. Upon GEE analysis the variables associated with incident STD were site (Newark OR 2.5, Baltimore 1.9), black race (OR 1.9), female sex (2.1), participant education (some college OR 0.63, college graduate OR 0.32), baseline STD (OR 2.3) and failure to complete intervention sessions (OR 1.7). Incident STD was not associated with P-C difference by race or gender or the counselor's gender, race/ethnicity, education and number of sessions conducted. Conclusion: Our study suggests matching patients and counselors based on race/ethnicity or gender would not influence patient completion of counseling sessions or effectiveness of counseling.

Doherty, W. J. (1991). "Can male therapists empower women in therapy? ." Journal of Feminist Family Therapy: An International Forum 3(2).

This chapter addresses the now-problematic issue of male therapists empowering women clients in therapy. The chapter's first section deals with definitions and types of power, distinguishing between assertive power and boundary-setting power. The second section, drawing on the work of anthropologist David Gilmore, discusses men's socialization to power and how this socialization can work for or against empowering women in therapy. The third section describes phases of clinical relationships and how empowering can occur at each. The chapter concludes with a statement about the importance of female consultants, and about what male therapists can learn from female clients in the area of power relations.

Epperson, D. L. (1981). "Counselor gender and early premature terminations from counseling: A replication and extension." Journal of Counseling Psychology 28(4): 349-356.

Examined the relationship of counselor gender to client return rate. Results showed male counselors had higher return rates regardless of their level of experience, the gender of clients, the concerns of clients, or the severity of those concerns. The generalizability of the results of an earlier study are questioned.

Erickson, B. M. (1993). Helping men change: The role of the female therapist. Newbury Park, SAGE Publications.

This book addresses, from a therapist's perspective, some of the primary concerns women therapists have about working with male clients. It explores essential skills and competencies and examines how female therapists can be empowered to work as effectively and confidently with men as they do with women. The author also provides guidelines for improving clinical decision making when planning treatment and offers specific examples of sessions designed to help male clients deal with particularly difficult issues - such as becoming more effective participants in intimate relationships.

Feldman, D. K., Thomas N.; McCrone, William P. (2006). "Deaf clients' perceptions of counseling expertise as a function of counselors' signing skill, gender, and therapy type." American Annals of the Deaf 150(5): 408-414.

The study examined deaf clients' perceptions of counseling expertise as a function of several counseling variables: counselor's signing skill, gender, and therapy type. Twenty undergraduate students at a special college for the deaf who were enrolled in either counseling courses or psychology courses viewed 4 video clips reflecting a mock counseling session. After viewing the clips, the participants were asked to complete the Counselor Rating Form -- Short Form (Corrigan & Schmidt, 1983). There was no statistically significant main effect for the sex of the counselor, the match between the counselor's gender and the client's gender, or the mode of communication. While the study demonstrates the utility of the method for future research with deaf clients, further modifications of the method are necessary. Rationale The establishment of rapport -- including recognition of the need for comfortable communication -- is critical to any counseling effort (Ahn & Wampold, 2001; Atkinson & Karskadon, 1975)

Gelso, C. J. F., R.E.; Gomez, M.J.; Latts, M.G. (1995). "Countertransference reactions to lesbian clients: The role of homophobia, counselor gender, and countertransference management." Journal of Counseling Psychology 42(3): 356-364.

This study examined (a) male and female counselors' countertransference (CT) reactions to lesbian and heterosexual client actresses and (b) the role of counselor homophobia and CT management ability in CT reactions. Sixty-seven counselors viewed a videotaped client actress in 1 of 2 conditions : lesbian or heterosexual. The client discussed sexual problems within a stable relationship. Counselors responded to the taped client at 8 points. CT, the dependent variable, was assessed at behavioral, affective, and cognitive levels. Contrary to prediction, counselors did not exhibit more CT with a lesbian client. As hypothesized, (a) counselor homophobia correlated with counselor avoidance behavior in the lesbian condition and (b) female counselors had greater recall problems than male counselors with the lesbian client, whereas male and female counselors had equivalent recall with the heterosexual client. CT management ability was uncorrelated with CT reactions in all but a few instances.

Goldberg, B. T., Romeria (1990). "Ethnicity and gender similarity: The effectiveness of counseling for adolescents." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 19(6): 589-603.

Few studies in counseling and psychotherapy have examined the relationship between counselees' perception of counselors' attractiveness and therapeutic outcomes using high school-age counselees in actual counseling sessions. This study investigated the extent to which perceived counselor-counselee similarity affected the counselee's perceptions of counselor attractiveness and how perceived counselor attractiveness affected the degree of counselee satisfaction with counseling. The results suggested that racial and gender differences appear not to have operated as barriers to effective counseling. The implications of these findings for counseling research and practice, in general, we well as for successful counselor-counselee interactions in a multicultural context, in particular, are discussed.

Gregory, M. A. L., Leigh A (1996). "Different lenses: Variations in clients' perception of family therapy by race and gender." Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Race and gender have been given extensive theoretical and clinical attention in family therapy in the last decade. However, little empirical work has focused on their effect on therapy. The present study examines the effect of clients' race and therapists' race and gender on male and female partners' assessments of an initial and subsequent family/marital therapy session. One hundred twenty-six individuals, comprising 63 heterosexual adult couples, evaluated both the first and the fourth therapy session using the Session Evaluation Questionnaire (Stiles, 1980). Results indicated a strong effect for race, with black females rating initial sessions more negatively than white females when seeing a white therapist. Black men, however; had a more positive response than white men to the initial session, regardless of the race of the therapist. Over time, these differences decreased. The results suggest not only that race and gender may contribute to differences in partners' perceptions of the same session, but also that these differences are not static.

Hardin, S. I. Y., Barbara J. (1983). "Counselor gender, type of problem, and expectations about counseling." Journal of Counseling Psychology 30(2): 294-297.

Investigated subject expectations for counseling as a function of counselor gender, problem type, and subject gender. Subjects (N=200) responded to the Short Form Expectations about Counseling. Women scored hgher on motivation and openness. Men scored higher on directiveness and self-disclosure. Results conform to sex role stereotypes regarding interaction styles.

Howard, J. (2000). TIP 36: Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Child Abuse and Neglect Issues. Rockville, Maryland, U.S. Public Health Service, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

"Some in the treatment field believe that males should not treat female survivors of male sexual abuse. Although some women may feel safe only with a female counselor, many male counselors can provide effective treatment if they give adequate attention to abuse issues and their own reactions to clients. Furthermore, sensitive handling of the case by a male who does not exploit the client can provide a new, positive male role model. Whenever possible, the client's preference regarding the counselor's gender should be respected; unfortunately, many facilities do not have adequate staffing to allow choice. In such situations, it is important to openly acknowledge the client's feelings and validate them as understandable reactions. This can reduce feelings of helplessness and help prevent the client from leaving treatment prematurely." (from chapter 4, "Therapeutic Issues for Counselors").

Johnson, M. (1978). "Influence of counselor gender on reactivity to clients." Journal of Counseling Psychology 25(5): 359-365.

Explored male and female counselors' responses to male and female clients who expressed anger and depression. Multivariate analysis of variance produced two significant counselor-gender effects. Female counselors rated themselves as more empathic than did males. Females were rated as angrier than males. Results are discussed in terms of methodology. (Author)

Johnson, M. E. D.-G., Seana (1996). "Effects of inclusive vs. exclusive language on evaluations of the counselor." Sex Roles 34(5-6): 407-418.

This study examined the effects of exclusive vs. inclusive language (using generic pronouns to describe both genders as opposed to using more encompassing terminology such as ldquoshe or herdquo) on evaluations of a counselor. After reading a counseling session transcript in which language style and counselor gender were manipulated, 88 female and 44 male college students (80% White, 6% African American, 4% Alaska Native, 2% Asian American, and 3% Hispanic) completed several instruments assessing their perceptions and expectations about the counselor, as well as their sex-role ideology. Results indicated that language style affected evaluations, with all participants expressing less willingness to see the counselors using exclusive language and rating them as more sexist. The impact of exclusive language was most evident with female and feminist participants with these participants expressing less confidence in counselors using exclusive language. Results also revealed that participants were more willing to see a same-gender counselor and rated such counselors as more expert. Given these results, counselors should be aware of their language style and the possible impact it may have on clients, particularly female and feminist clients, and make any needed changes to lessen the possibility of negatively affecting their clients.

Johnson, M. E. P., David G. (1990). "Effects of counselor gender and drinking status on perceptions of the counselor." Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education 35(3): 38-44.

Investigated the effects of counselor gender and drinking status on 93 mandated clients' perceptions of counselor trustworthiness, expertness and attractiveness, and confidence in the counselor. Results revealed no differences between ratings of recovering alcoholic, nonalcoholic, or no-statement counselors on any of the dependent measures. Discusses findings relative to prevalent assumption of superiority of recovering alcoholics as alcoholism counselors.

Kantor, D., Barbara F. Okun (1989). Intimate Environments: Sex, Intimacy, and Gender in Families. New York, New York, Guilford Press.

From the beginning, the subject of sex has been notably absent from the family therapy literature. In this timely, challenging, often controversial volume prominent clinicians present their varied views about intimacy, sex, and gender issues that affect family process, therapy, and not least of all, themselves. Delineating the sexual and intimacy structures that exist in families, contributors demonstrate how these structures determine the nature of close relationships. They also explore gender differences in the definition, expectation, and experience of intimacy and the interrelationships among caring, intimacy, and sexuality. INTIMATE ENVIRONMENTS considers the reciprocities between systems and developmental theories, individual/couple and couple/family, and the therapist and client. Personal and professional views and experiences of the therapist, clinical and theoretical perspectives, and gender influences on sexuality, intimacy, and love are also examined. The book is divided into three major sections covering theory, person-of-the-therapist, and clinical issues. Within the second section is a unique "Conversations' chapter based on inter-and intra-gender discussions among the editors and four distinguished writers and practitioners -- Peggy Penn, Maggie Scharf, Donald Bloch, and Carlos Sluzki. In this revealing chapter, the six participants openly discuss their attitudes toward the process as well as the content of intimacy, sexuality in relation to family therapy. The first complete volume to deal unflinchingly with these issues, INTIMATE ENVIRONMENTS offers profound implications for family therapy training and practice. As such, it will be invaluable for practitioners in the field, as well as an excellent resource for psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.

Kiyoko, A. (1999). "The effects of a therapist's gender and his/her life-cycle on the psychotherapeutic processes: The female therapist and the male patient." Japanese Journal of Psycho-Analysis 43(2): 151.

In psychotherapy, a therapist's gender or his/her life-cycle sometimes results in a patient's resistance and transference. It is true that a female psychotherapist's analytical incognito is somewhat easily revealed, and that her actual status causes some effects on the therapeutic processes. But I think this theme hasn't thoroughly been discussed in Japan. In this paper, the author reports the case of an adolescent boy (Case 1) and the case of a middle-aged man (Case 2), and then discusses the effects of the therapist's gender and her life-cycle on the psychotherapeutic processes and what a female therapist must contend with concerning this theme. The results and the discussions based on these clinical studies are as follows: 1) The "transference love" often combines with the "mother transference" in a male patient. And the "transference love" of a male patient for a female therapist is different from that of a female patient for a male therapist in the following respects: In particular, an adolescent male patient's "transference love" is highly aggressive, so that a female therapist fears these situations. 2) If a patient becomes aware of his therapist's pregnancy during the psychotherapeutic processes, he tends to deny or repress his fantasies or his emotions which are evoked by her pregnancy. During these situations, a patient often "clings" to his therapist. After her pregnancy is dealt with verbally in the psychotherapeutic sessions, the male patient sometimes reveals erotic "mother transference". 3) Especially in cases in which a female psychotherapist feels a sense of 'motherhood' or 'femininity' toward the patient at the beginning of the therapeutic processes, it is necessary that she examine her first impressions, her own feelings, and her counter-transference scientifically and neutrally. It is important that she explore fully any possibility that her "mother counter-transference" might affect her therapy.... (author abst.)

Kulish, N. M. (1989). "Gender and transference: Conversations with female analysts." Psychoanalytic Psychology 6: 59-71.

The possible influence of analysts’ gender on the transference has received attention in recent psychoanalytic writing. Interviews with 17 senior female analysts about their views on this question are summarized. Most felt that analysts’ gender does affect the transference, especially in the sequence of material's emergence, and should be taken into consideration in referrals. Possible influences on the “maternal” and “paternal” transferences, the erotic and “eroticized” transferences, and the oedipal transference were also discussed. Gender-related biases or countertransferences were suggested.

Machell, D. H. (1987). Brief Report: Counselor substance abuse history, client fellowship, and alcoholism treatment outcome. Danbury, Connecticut, Department of Justice & Law Administration, Western Connecticut State University: 13.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether alcoholism counselors who are non-alcoholics can be as effective with alcoholic clients as counselors who are themselves recovering from alcoholism. This study compared the impact of the recovering alcoholic counselor and the non-alcoholic counselor on alcoholic clients' perceived belongingness with treatment peers, as well as on length of stay in treatment and relapse rate in a residential treatment center. Two hundred chronic, recidivistic adult male alcoholics admitted to a 90-day all-male residential treatment program over a 4-year period were randomly assigned to one of four counselors: male alcoholic, female alcoholic, male non-alcoholic, or female non-alcoholic. Based on results of structured interviews conducted at 2-week intervals during their stay, clients were categorized at the end of treatment into either the isolate, dyad, cluster, or variant grouping. Treatment outcome was measured by length of stay in the program and rate of relapse during the program. Counselor gender did not seem to be an important factor with respect to client-perceived emotional attachment, length of stay, or relapse rate. The results suggest that a counselor's recovering status does not seem to have any more impact on the clients' perception of belongingness among their peers or on length of stay or relapse rate than that of non-alcoholic counselors.

Pealer, L. N. P., Thomas A.; Newman, Daniel R.; Kamb, Mary L.; Dillon, Beth; Malotte, C. Kevin; Zenilman, Jonathan; Douglas, John M. Jr.; Bolan, Gail (2004). "Are counselor demographics associated with successful HIV/STD prevention counseling? ." Sexually Transmitted Diseases 31(1): 52-56.

Background and Objective: HIV prevention counseling has changed behavior and reduced incident sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in research participants. Goal: This article assesses whether counselor demographics or counselor-client dyad characteristics influenced prevention counseling in Project RESPECT as measured by intervention completion and incident STD after counseling. Study Design: We analyzed data from Project RESPECT, a randomized, controlled trial of HIV counseling interventions in STD clinics. Results: There was no significant association between client failure to complete the intervention and demographic characteristics of the 32 counselors or dyad characteristics. Clients who did not complete the intervention were significantly more likely to acquire a new STD infection by the 12-month visit than those who completed the intervention (adjusted odds ratio, 1.7; confidence interval, 1.2-2.4). There was no significant association between new STDs and counselor characteristics or dyad characteristics. Conclusions: Counselor or counselor-client dyad characteristics evaluated in this study were not associated with intervention completion or the prevention of new STDs.

Pease, B. P. J. C. (2001). Working With Men In The Human Services, Allen & Unwin.

Men are often invisible in the human services. As clients and as workers, men have largely been ignored in the efforts that have been made to combat sexism in social work and welfare practice. Working with Men in the Human Services argues that addressing gender injustice requires an understanding of men as well as of women. The authors analyse how men's position in society affects their relationships with women, and with each other. They also examine the influence of masculine culture on men's self-perception and behaviour. Key practice issues are highlighted with case studies from a variety of contexts. Working with Men in the Human Services marks the beginning of a new agenda for profeminist practice with men, and is essential reading for students and professionals in social work, welfare and counselling. Working with Men in the Human Services challenges all social workers to rethink their assumptions about men, masculinity and men's issues. It does not negate feminist scholarship and practice, but rather broadens and deepens an appreciation of gender issues. It deserves to be widely read, is a must for any social worker's library, and will have a profound influence on social work theory and practice in the coming years. Jim Ife, Professor of Social Work & Social Policy, Curtin University Bob Pease is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at RMIT University, Melbourne, author of Recreating Men, and coeditor of Transforming Social Work Practice. Peter Camilleri is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Rector at the Australian Catholic University, Canberra. He is author of (Re)Constructing Social Work.

Schaverien, J. (2006). Gender, countertransference, and the erotic transference: Perspectives from analytical psychology and psychoanalysis. Hove, East Sussex

New York, Routledge ;

Taylor & Francis.

Gender, countertransference and the erotic transference challenges taboos and extends existing theory with the spotlight on the female analysts experience. The potentially volatile topic of gender in psychotherapy is discussed with sensitivity to sexualities, difference and sexual orientation.

Joy Schaverien brings together a number of highly experienced clinicians, many with international reputations as theorists in the fields of analytical psychology, psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, to explore the connection between gender and the erotic transference. Part 1 shows how the analyst uses the countertransference. This is openly explored through themes such as, men who leave too soon, sexual issues in the transference, the therapists body, sexual difference and the challenging topic of sexual acting out and perversion in the analyst. Part 2 explores gender related issues such as, women who seek a woman therapist and the transferences of male patients working with female therapists. Part 3 offers close observation and detailed discussion of the erotic transference. Innovations in technique are considered with regard to mourning, female perversion, the meaning and purpose of the erotic transference, including heterosexual and lesbian erotic transferences, and individuation at the end of life. Gender, countertransference and the erotic transference will be of great interest to experienced clinicians, students and trainees in psychoanalysis, analytical psychology, psychotherapy, counselling, the arts therapies and social work.
Subich, L. M. (1983). "Expectancies for counselors as a function of counselor gender specification and subject sex." Journal of Counseling Psychology 30(3): 421-424.

Investigated how 240 students' expectations for counseling differed as a function of counselor gender specification and subject sex. Results indicated specification of the counselor's gender had no significant effect on students' expectations but sex of students did. Females expected stronger facilitative conditions and a more positive counseling outcome.

Turner, J. F., Marshall (2003). Gender and supervision: Evolving debates. The Complete Systemic Supervisor: Context, Philosophy, and Pragmatics. T. C. S. Todd, Cheryl L. Lincoln, Nebraska, iUniverse: 72-82.

Subtitles: Major themes, Past and Present; Empowerment of women; Executive skill building and androgyny; Gender transformations and inclusivity; Power and gender configurations in supervision; Sex, lies, and videotape; Absent authors, missing knowledge, evolving ideas. 51 references.

Compiled October 12, 2007 and available online at

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