Date of Award

12-1993

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Hedstrom

Second Advisor

Dr. Jim Croteau

Third Advisor

Dr. Howard Farris

Abstract

An experimental study of the effects of comprehensive versus partial pretherapy disclosure was conducted. Sixty-three clients in a university counseling center participated. The control and treatment groups received information on four pretherapy issues. Those issues were services provided, confidentiality, length of sessions, and right to terminate therapy. The treatment group received additional information which included personalized data regarding therapists, what to expect in therapy, and risks and alternatives to therapy. The study examined the effects of the comprehensive information received by the treatment group versus the partial information received by the control group on (a) perceptions of therapists, (b) opinions and attitudes toward therapy, and (c) actual client behaviors. No statistically significant differences between groups were found in perceptions of therapists; however, females rated their therapists more positively overall on the Counselor Rating Form-Short (Corrigan & Schmidt, 1983) than did males. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of treatment versus control participants in requests for a change in therapist, attendance at the first session, client-initiated terminations, wish to participate in counseling, or knowing what to expect in therapy. A significantly greater proportion of treatment than control group participants found the mailing most helpful, as compared to information received at intake. The mailing contained the personalized disclosure information for the treatment group. A significantly greater proportion of treatment than control participants stated they understood what counseling would be like. Based on the results of the present and prior studies, it seems possible to disclose comprehensive pretherapy information to potential clients without producing a negative impact on the client or the therapy relationship.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons

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