Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear


An experimental strategy of supervisor verbal responding was compared to two other strategies. Termed "direct responding," it involved answering trainee requests for information, opinion, or suggestion, by giving information, opinion, or suggestion. Trainee statements of fact or opinion were answered by a request for elaboration. This strategy was compared with a reflective-type response, modeled on base-rate studies of supervisor verbalizations, and with a random-type of response in which supervisor responses were not necessarily related to trainee statements.

The purpose of this study was to determine if a direct strategy of responding to trainee verbalizations would be perceived as superior to a reflective strategy, and to determine if the absence of an implicit strategy affected satisfaction and perception.

Analogue methods were employed. Raters viewed scripted video tapes of three supervisors working individually with a trainee. After viewing each tape, raters completed the Supervisor Rating Scale (SRF) and the Trainee Personal Reaction Scale - Revised (TPRS-R).

Raters comprised a randomly selected group of thirty-seven master's and doctoral-level trainees from the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, Western Michigan University. Analysis of variance, factor analysis, and linear regression analysis were employed in statistical analysis.

Comparison of all three strategies of verbal responding across all dimensions of rater perception and satisfaction proved impossible due to problems with the factor structures of the SRF and the TPRS-R. Analysis of results indicated that subjects were more satisfied with the performance of the direct responding supervisor than the reflective supervisor. The reflective supervisor was rated higher on a measure of trustworthiness than the direct responding supervisor. There was no relationship between these findings and rater age, sex, level of degree pursuing, experience as an individual counselor, and experience as a supervisee.

It was determined that verbal responding style does have an effect upon rater perception and satisfaction, and that the use of a strategy is superior to the absence of a responding strategy.

Theoretical and practical implications were proposed, and recommendations for further research were offered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons