Client verbal and nonverbal reinforcement of counselor behavior: Its impact on interviewing behavior and postinterview evaluation

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Abstract

Examined the effect of client reinforcement on counselor behavior within the interview as well as on selected attitudinal judgments of the counselor about the client. 30 counselor-trainees interviewed a standard client for 1 20-min interview. Following a 10-min baseline period, the client reinforced the counselor's reflection of feeling (RF) statements with either a verbal response, a verbal plus nonverbal response, or a noncontingent verbal plus nonverbal response. Counselors then completed a postinterview questionnaire measuring attraction to and clinical impression of the client. Results show that (a) counselors in verbal and verbal plus nonverbal conditions showed significant increases in RF statements, while noncontingent controls showed no significant gains; and (b) differences in counselor attraction and clinical impression of the client were minimal. Implications are discussed in terms of skill acquisition in counselor training. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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