Some effects of counselor profanity in counseling

Norbert J. Heubusch, John J. Horan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


60 male and female 24-50 yr old recovering alcoholic counseling clients were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 male counselors and to 1 of 2 treatment conditions. In the nonstandard English condition, the counselor casually and passively introduced 4 profane words. The standard English condition was identical except in respect to the use of these specific words. On client self-report and behavioral measures, which cut across all schools of counseling, counselors who used nonstandard English were judged to be less effective and satisfying. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-458
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • use of profanity by counselors, client evaluation of counselor effectiveness, 24-50 yr old recovering alcoholics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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