EFFECTS OF CLIENT/COUNSELOR EXPECTATIONS AND DISCUSSION OF EXPECTATIONS IN SHORT-TERM COUNSELING

KARL LAWRENCE TRAPPE, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the congruence of client and counselor expectations of the counseling process. Prognostic and role expectations were assessed for both the client and the counselor. The level of precounseling congruence of expectations was predicted to influence remaining in counseling and be related to the outcome of counseling. Further, it was predicted that a mutual discussion of expectations between a client and counselor would increase the level of congruence at termination and scores on outcome measures.^ The subjects for this study were clients and counselors involved in short-term counseling (maximum 12 sessions) at a community mental health center. Forty clients participated, including equal numbers of males and females, with an age range of 19 to 47, all white, and with incomes ranging from $0 to \$35,000 and of varied marital status. Twenty counselors participated, including equal numbers of males and females, with an experience range of 2 to 14 years.^ Clients completed the Brief Symptom Inventory and Client Expectations Inventory (developed for this study) prior to meeting the counselor. The counselor completed the Counselor Expectations Inventory (developed for this study) prior to meeting the client. These same instruments were again completed after the second session by all clients and counselors. Each counselor saw one client in the control group, using all normal procedures, and one client in the experimental group, adding a mutual discussion of expectations using the Client/Counselor Expectations Interview (developed for this study). Clients completed the BSI, Client Expectations Inventory and Client Evaluation of Counseling at the end of counseling. Counselors completed the Counselor Expectations Inventory and Counselor Evaluation of Counseling at the end of counseling.^ Results showed that both groups increased significantly in client/counselor congruence from precounseling to the termination of counseling. In addition, clients who discussed expectations with counselors showed significantly more improvement on one of four outcome measures than the control group. A Post Study Counselor Interview revealed that the participating counselors had found the discussion of expectations to be a useful technique in building a working relationship more quickly with the client.^ The findings of this study support the need for further examination of the interactive aspects of client and counselor expectations. More diverse samples of clients, various treatment modalities and the use of other outcome measures could provide useful data on this area of the client/counselor relationship. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

TRAPPE, KARL LAWRENCE, "EFFECTS OF CLIENT/COUNSELOR EXPECTATIONS AND DISCUSSION OF EXPECTATIONS IN SHORT-TERM COUNSELING" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8715809.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8715809

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