ERIC Number: ED240467
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Natural and Professional Help during Marital Disruption.
Toro, Paul A.; Zax, Melvin
Although few people bring their psychological problems to mental health professionals, research in the area of 'natural' help is rudimentary. To investigate the process and effectiveness of natural professional groups in helping individuals experiencing marital disruption, 42 helpers (14 mental health professionals, 14 divorce lawyers, and 14 leaders of self-help groups) participated in a 40-minute interaction with a woman trained to portray a separated woman considering divorce. Audiotapes of the interactions were coded for helper behaviors according to the Counselor Verbal Response Category System. An analysis of the results showed that mental health professionals used more Minimal Encouragers, Open Questions, and Reflections than both other groups, and more Restatements, Interpretations, and Confrontations than lawyers. Self-help leaders used more Self-Disclosures than both other groups, more Information than professionals, and more Open Questions, Reflections, Interpretations, and Confrontation than lawyers. Lawyers used more Verbosity and Information than both other groups and more Closed Questions than self-help leaders. Lawyers were more effective with legal/financial problems and less effective with personal/emotional problems than both other groups. While the findings can be useful for helpers in various groups to improve their effectiveness, further research on the effects of different behaviors is needed. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mental Health Workers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).