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Levels of ego development and reasoning about counselling in adults Gow, Mary Kathleen

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between levels of ego development and reasoning about counselling in adults. To date, ego development research has not made a clear distinction between "psychotherapy" and "counselling," nor has it included many "non-client" participants. Fifty adults living in non-urban areas in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia completed The Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT - a measure of ego development) and the Reasoning about Counselling (RAC) questionnaire. Thirty participants had no previous experience with counselling. A mixed methods design, employing both quantitative and qualitative analyses, revealed a significant relationship between ego development and reasoning about counselling across all domains in the total sample. When the sample was divided into two groups, those with and without previous experience in counselling, a significant relationship between the two variables was found in three out of the four domains. Qualitative findings illustrate the relationship between levels of ego development and reasoning about counselling from a more personal perspective. Findings from this study indicate that utilizing the ego development model to inform the practice of counselling psychology enables counsellors to better understand their adult clients' frame of reference and so choose treatment interventions that are the most appropriate.

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