The relationship between dogmatism in counselor-trainees and evaluation of a physically disabled vs. non-disabled counseling practicum supervisor



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Introduction. That prepracticum counseling students formulated Initial subjective evaluations of a prospective counseling practicum supervisor along some dimensions seemed a reasonable assumption. An aspect of experientially-oriented supervision at least that might be systematically affected was the evaluation of the relationship dimensions of empathy, congruence, respect, unconditionality and willingness to be known. A counselor trainee's evaluation of a prospective supervisory relationship may be enhanced by the physical attractiveness dimensions as is the case with counseling relationships. Assignment to a physically disabled vs. non-disabled counseling practicum supervisor was hypothesized to impact the evaluation of the relationship dimensions provided by the supervisor as evaluated by prepracticum counseling students who characteristically varied on the dimension of dogmatism, i.e., open-or closed- mindedness to new and different stimuli. Statement of the Problem. The present research specifically examined these relationship dimensions most appropriately attributed to an experientially-oriented supervisory relationship with a disabled vs. non-disabled supervisor primarily as a function of dogmatism, which is evident in a factor involving rejection of stimuli potentially threatening to one's perceptual and attitudinal organization. Existing Research. The literature has suggested that dogmatism merited attention in the prediction of attitudes toward the disabled in an inverse fashion and in counselor trainee's facility in effecting relationship dimensions. Few investigations have explored the supervisory relationship employing the physical attractiveness dimension by depicting an obvious physical disability as an aspect of that dimension. Researchers have studied the physical attractiveness dimension relative to counseling which has commonalities with supervision. Generally attitudes toward the disabled have resulted in negative evaluations. The disabled were devalued across social relationships and were perceived as feeling more inferior than able-bodied counterparts. Other researchers have proposed difficulties in establishing an empathic relationship with disabled individuals. [...]