An exploratory study of the therapeutic alliance and client outcomes in a voluntary counselling agency

Date

2012-08-27

Authors

Lee, Cynthia

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Abstract

Dyadic data analysis methods are underutilized in child and youth care, where much of the practice relies on relationships with individuals and groups. In this exploratory study, a dyadic data analysis approach was used to study the interdependence amongst client-counsellor dyads in a voluntary counselling setting. Ten counsellors and thirty-six clients from a Canadian voluntary counselling agency participated in this study. Counselling sessions ranged from two to 20 sessions. Clients completed a session rating scale, a measure of the therapeutic alliance. In addition, clients and counsellors completed an outcome rating scale and personal change questions. A one-with-many design was used to explore the similarity between client-counsellor dyads, the degree of consensus, assimilation, and uniqueness as well as the level of reciprocity for perceived client well-being. Multi-level modeling was used to partition the variance on the outcome rating scale to account for sources of non-independence in client-counsellor dyads, and the indirect relationships between multiple clients working with the same counsellor. Implications of the study and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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Keywords

dyadic data analysis, voluntary counselling, therapeutic alliance, client outcome, counseling

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