Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Philip AuClaire


Social Work


This research sought to understand the relationship between educational background, levels of education and understanding of countertransference concepts, in relation to substance abuse treatment. Previous research has identified knowledge of countertransference as a factor increasing a therapist’s ability to manage countertransference and increase client success in substance abuse treatment (Seiden, Chandler & Davis, 1994). It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between therapist level of education, and understanding of countertransference. It was also hypothesized that those who have an education specifically in addiction would have a poorer understanding of countertransference than those trained in social work, psychology or marriage and family therapy. This hypothesis was based on educational licensing standards in the state of Minnesota, as addiction counselors in Minnesota prior to 2008 could receive a 2 year certificate in counseling (Office of the Revisor of Statutes, 2010). This research used the Countertransference Measure developed by Hofsess and Tracey (2010). It was found that all therapists, regardless of educational background or level of education had a similar understanding of countertransference concepts. A major limitation of this research included a very small sample size (N=29) and therefore recommended that future research should obtain a larger sample size.

Included in

Social Work Commons