Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision

Document Type



Pre-Practicum, Client Role, Basic Skills, Empathy Development, Role-Play

Subject Area

Counselor Education


This study explored the experience and process of counselors in training enacting the client role and sharing “real life” experiences during role-playing exercises in a pre-practicum skills course. Using Charmaz’ Grounded Theory, main themes and processes were identified and explored. Through multiple individual interviews and a final focus group, the participants described how the experience facilitated their development of empathy for the client experience. The findings suggest a possible link between the development of empathy for the client experience and sharing “real life” experiences while enacting the client role, and encourage further study into this type of learning experience.





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