Title

Counseling Sexually Abused Girls: The Impact of Sex of Counselor

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2000

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Objective: The present study was conducted to assess the impact of sex of counselor on the therapeutic process for sexually abused girls in individual counseling. Method: Raters evaluated videotapes of counseling sessions recorded for 35 sexually abused girls who had been systematically assigned to brief-term psychoeducationally oriented treatment with either a male or female counselor. Clients' in-session behavior was rated using accepted therapeutic process measures, while statistically controlling for the effect of girls' pretreatment comfort level with male and female counselors. Results: Overall, MANCOVA results revealed that girls' participation in counseling was not significantly related to session number. the child's age (i.e., preadolescent vs, adolescent), or the sex of counselor who provided treatment services. However, univariate results and graphic representations of girls' behavior suggest that adolescent clients, when compared with their preadolescent counterparts, seemed to be more reluctant to discuss certain child sexual abuse topics. Conclusions: The findings suggest that caution is warranted regarding categorical recommendations on the assignment of young female survivors to male counselors. Delimitations and limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication Title

Child Abuse & Neglect

Volume

24

Issue

6

First Page

753

Last Page

765