ERIC Number: ED296248
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Sep-23
Reference Count: N/A
Desirable Characteristics of a Counseling Agency: Report on a Focus Group Research Study for the Center for Human Services.
Sessions, Joan T.; Yanos, Janet Hagan
This study sought to identify characteristics of counselors and counseling services that are important in the selection of a counseling service. Subjects (N=28) were recruited through a newspaper advertisement and through mall intercepts. The screening criteria were designed to locate potential or previous counseling service consumers whose educational backgrounds and income would place them in the middle or upper-middle class. Respondents were interviewed in group and individual sessions. Results showed that consumers of counseling services wanted immediate, professional, expert help at convenient hours, and at a location close to home. They were willing to see social workers who had specific expertise, and were willing to pay for services. Consumers wanted continuity of care from initial contact, and after-hours access to counselors. A broad range of service options was desired. Consumers wanted to choose their counselor, define their own needs, and decide on the focus of service. Privacy was critical and location in a professional office building was the predominant choice. Consumers wanted the counseling staff to have diverse expertise, and to be adult, good listeners, warm, and very sensitive to clients. Credentials were generally thought to be less important than therapeutic effectiveness. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association (Boston, MA, October 15-17, 1987).