Date of Award


Access Restriction

Campus Access only Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Joy Yip Green


This research incorporates a heuristic method of inquiry to reflect on the researcher’s response to clients with substance abuse. The research investigates if countertransference with this population comes off as empathy (taking in the perspective of the clients) or pity (feeling sorry for clients). Data was collected over a structured 6-week period through the researcher’s self-reflective process of creating art in responses to client artwork made during her practicum experience. Research is solely based on the researcher’s personal response to a select few clients and the resulting artwork and reflective writing. Four themes were initially extrapolated from immediate reflections, which were combined to form a more central understanding of the researcher’s countertransference. Through this process of investigation, the researcher addresses and challenged personal biases, stereotypes, and assumptions about this population to better understand the meaning of her countertransference.