ERIC Number: ED386641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug-15
Relational Control and Relationship Quality in Psychotherapy.
Lichtenberg, James W.; And Others
Certain interactional theorists propose that for counseling/psychotherapy to be effective, the therapist must control the definition of the therapy relationship. Although the relationship between patterns of relational dominance/control in counseling and counseling outcome seems reasonably well established, little is known of the relationship between dominance (as a process variable) and measures of relational quality (e.g., evaluations of "therapeutic alliance" and of session depth and smoothness). The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of relational dominance within and across psychotherapy cases to investigate its relation to relationship quality. Interview transcriptions and therapy process ratings of seven full-length psychotherapy cases served as the basis for this study. Cases ranged from 12 to 20 sessions. The results did not evidence a consistent relationship between relational dominance and any of the relationship quality measures (whether rated by client or therapist). Results suggest that relational dominance/control is not a significant factor in client or therapist evaluations of the quality of the therapeutic relationship. Therapist control of the definition of the therapy relationship appears to neither enhance nor detract from the participants' evaluation of their working alliance or of the depth and smoothness of their sessions together. Includes extensive graphs and charts. Contains 48 references. (Author/JBJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).