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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Women's experiences of group process in a career counselling intervention Mawson, Diana Louise


This study investigated women's experiences of group process in a career counselling intervention. Specifically, the study examined the relationships of Yalom's (1985) 11 group therapeutic factors, and six client demographic factors, in predicting post-intervention levels of goal instability (GI) after removing the effects of pre-intervention levels of GI. In addition, the study attempted to define the relationship between a set of client demographic variables and a set of 14 group change mechanisms which reflect Yalom's 11 factors. Subjects were 108 adult women clients who attended a two-day career group counselling program at a government counselling unit. Data were collected using questionnaires at pre and post-intervention. Follow-up interviews were conducted by telephone with 71 participants two months after their workshop dates. Levels of goal instability were assessed using the Goal Instability Scale at pre and post-test, and client demographic information was solicited with a Participant's Information Sheet at pre-test. Group therapeutic factors were assessed at post-test by using the How Career Groups Work Scale. A preliminary analysis identified pre-test GI levels' contribution to variance in post-test GI levels. Pre-test GI levels were the only significant contributor to variance in post-test GI levels in all subsequent standard multiple regression equations tested. In a hierarchical multiple regression equation, cognitive change mechanisms accounted for a significant but small portion of the variance in post-test GI levels, over and above that accounted for by pre-test GI levels. A canonical analysis did not identify any significant relationships between a set of six client demographic variables and a set of 14 group change mechanisms. Follow-up data indicated that clients valued both the cognitive and affective group therapeutic factors for helping clients with career planning and for contributing to general benefits associated with the intervention. Post-test findings confirmed that Yalom's therapeutic factors were operating in this study's career intervention, and that clients did not value the factors equally. The follow-up findings clarified the relationships between the therapeutic factors and participants' career planning and goal-setting processes.

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