Counselor Recovery Status and Substance Abuse Certification: A Relationship to Perceived Credibility and Counselor Preference with Hazardous Drinkers
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This study investigated the role of counselor influence in substance abuse counseling. Hazardous drinkers' perceptions of a counselor's recovery and certification status were examined to determine if these counselor characteristics increased hazardous drinkers' perceptions of counselor crediblity or their counselor preference. No statically significant relationship was found between counselor recovery status and ratings of counselor credibility. Contrary to what was hypothesized participants rated themselves as less willing to choose a counselor in recovery than one who did not report a recovery history. This finding, albeit an inverse relationship from what was hypothesized, adds to the group membership similarity literature in regard to participants' perceptions of counselor recovery status. Although counselor certification in substance abuse has become more prevalent, there were no differences between certified and non-certified counselors on either dependent variable. This study did not find an interaction effect between counselor recovery status and certification status. Clinical implications for counselors working with substance abuse are discussed.