Counsellor response modes, counsellor intentions, and client reactions at four levels of counsellor experience and training
Master of Arts
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This study examined counsellor verbal responses, intentions, and client reactions for counsellors of four levels of experience and training. Five students at the first year Master level, five students at the second year Master level, five psychologists who had been registered for less than five years, and five psychologists who had been registered for more than five years conducted an initial 30 minute interview with undergraduate volunteers. Dependent measures included the Hill Counsellor Verbal Response Category System, the Therapist Intention List, and the Client Reaction System. Response mode results yielded evidence that Master level counsellors made more frequent use of approval statements and minimal encouragers. The most advanced Doctoral level group of counsellors used more responses from the interpretive cluster. The analyses of therapist intentions suggested that Doctoral level counsellors are more intent than Master level counsellors on educating clients in a first interview. The first-year novice group of counsellors had more intentions to explore client issues and initiate change. The analyses of client reactions revealed differences only between Master level counsellors as a group compared with Doctoral level counsellors. Subjects reported feeling supported more frequently when they were interviewed by M.A. level counsellors. Ph.D. level counsellors received a higher mean number of negative reactions. The results of this study are discussed in the context of the microskills counselling research literature.