Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Alan J. Hovestadt
Dr. Gary Bischof
Dr. Paul Yelsma
Research has revealed that the working alliance between counselors-in-training (CITs) and their clients predict therapeutic outcome (Horvath & Symonds, 1991; Parish & Eagle, 2003). The amount of research is limited, however, concerning CIT traits that facilitate the development of the working alliance (Ackerman & Hilsenroth, 2001; Ligiero & Gelso, 2002; Wampold, 2001). The purpose of the present study was to identify the degree to which CIT personality traits and family-of-origin (FOO) characteristics are associated with working alliance evaluations. This study utilized the 5 domains of personality, measured by the NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992), and alexithymia, measured by the TAS-20 (Bagby, Parker et al., 1994), as CIT personality predictor variables. CIT FOO predictor variables consisted of (1) general family functioning in the FOO, measured by the FAD-GFS (Epstein et al., 1983), and (2)emotional expressiveness within the FOO, measured by the FOEAS (Yelsma et al., 2000). The 2 criterion variables consisted of CIT evaluations of the working alliance with their client, measured by the CIT WAI-S (Tracey & Kokotovic, 1989), and client evaluations of the working alliance with their CIT, measured by the Client WAI-S.
The sample consisted of 33 CIT-client dyads, (27 female and 6 male CITs; and 23 female and 10 male clients). Data was analyzed with a combination of stepwise regression and correlation analyses. Eight hypotheses were proposed, with 1 being partially accepted, revealing that as CIT Neuroticism scores on the NEO-FFI increased and reached a T score of 62, client working alliance evaluations increased and were significantly predicted. A post hoc analysis revealed that as CIT Neuroticism scores on the NEO-FFI increased and reached a T score of 62, as well as when CITs had positive perceptions about the general functioning within their FOO, positive client working alliance evaluations increased and were significantly predicted. Self of the therapist literature was used to explain, make conclusions, and generate implications for CIT training, supervision, and future research.
Tatman, Anthony W., "The Relationship between Counselor-in-Training Personality Traits, Family-of-Origin Characteristics and Working Alliance" (2005). Dissertations. 1065.