Counselor trainee anxiety during counseling

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Physiological and subjective anxiety measures were assessed to determine if counselor trainees experienced greater anxiety levels during a counseling interview than during a conversation. 28 counselor trainee volunteers from a graduate level practicum course participated in 10-min conversation and counseling sessions. Anxiety was assessed by self-report, skin conductance, and heart rate measures. Results indicated that on 2 of 3 indicants of anxiety, trainees were more anxious during counseling than during conversing: Covariance analyses indicated significant treatment and interaction effects for conductance data, no significant effects for heart rate data, and a significant treatment effect for self-report data. Habituation heart rate and conductance data were highly related to respective physiological data during anticipation and stimulus periods, and preexperimental self-report data were moderately related to postexperimental self-report data. Results suggest that (a) counselor trainees are more anxious during counseling than during conversing, (b) trainees' expectations account for much of their anxiety, and (c) habituation physiological and self-report data may be useful in identifying trainees who will experience anxiety during a counseling interview. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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