Effects of failure to meet client preference in a counseling interview analogue

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Abstract

The hypothesis that failure to meet client preference for high- or low-directive counselor style would adversely affect interpersonal process was tested with 48 undergraduates in a counseling intervention analog oriented around students' actual problems. Students with strongly stated preferences for high- or low-directive counselors were randomly assigned to a counselor whose style was congruent or incongruent with their preference. The Therapist Behavior Scale was used to assess counselor directiveness. Dependent variables included 3 speech and 2 satisfaction measures. The data do not support the hypothesis. There was no evidence that failure to meet client preference adversely affected interview process. Clients of high-directive counselors expressed significantly greater satisfaction with the client-counselor relationship, spent only about 50% as much time per utterance, responded significantly more quickly, and exhibited less silence time while they held the floor than did clients of low-directive counselors. Results suggest that recent interest in ascertaining and meeting client preference may not be relevant to the quality of the interpersonal process. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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