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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Implicit counselling theories : an exploratory study Long, Herbert Gerald


This exploratory study of clinical judgement used a variant of Kelly's (1955) repertory grid methodology to examine and describe the relationship between the implicit personality theories and strategies or policies of counselling action toward clients. A relationship termed "implicit counselling theory" within this study. Six male and fourteen female counselling students rated each of ten clients they had seen on a 5- point scale on each of ten personality and ten counselling action constructs. For each subject, the realation-ship between ratings on each pair of personality and counselling action constructs were computed using a Pearson r correlation and tested for significance. To examine the interrelationships between constructs across subjects, a variance-in-common score was computed for each subject and then an average variance-in-common computed for the twenty subjects on each pair of constructs. The strongest relationships across subjects were indicated in the area of implicit personality theories (that is, the relationship between client personality constructs). Somewhat weaker relationships were indicated relative to the relationships between counselling action constructs. Although some commonalities were evident in the relationships between personality and counselling action constructs, the overall trend was toward considerable variations in these relationships. General agreement on these relationships across subjects was restricted to the relationship between client personality characteristics and activity and directiveness on the part of counsellor subjects. The results suggesting several, rather than any single implicit counselling theory. The study indicated that implicit counselling theories may have a significant impact on the nature of the counselling relationship, interventions and atmosphere. The importance of counsellors becoming more aware of their implicit personality and counselling theories was suggested by the results of the study.

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