Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Paradise, Louis V.

Second Advisor

Herlihy, Barbara

Third Advisor

Hulse-Killacky, Diana


This study examined the relationship between alexithymia, wellness, and substance dependence. Exploration of the relationship between alexithymia, emotional development, and wellness is largely absent in the literature, as is the use of wellness orientation in substance dependence treatment. This study was constructed from two samples, substance dependent clients in residential treatment in New Orleans, LA, and Austin, TX, and undergraduates from the University of New Orleans and the University of Texas at Austin. The total sample size for the study was n = 200. Each participant was administered the TAS-20 and the WEL. Four groups of n = 50 were formed from undergraduates and substance dependent clients based on their scores on the TAS-20: alexithymic undergraduates, non-alexithymic undergraduates, alexithymic substance dependent clients, and non-alexithymic substance dependent clients. Overall wellness as measured by the WEL was found to be greater for non-alexithymic participants than alexithymic participants using four different ANOVA group comparisons. These results are important to clinicians working with substance abuse, to researchers interested in alexithymia, emotional development, and wellness; and to counselors and counselor educators.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.