ERIC Number: ED400492
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Relational Control: Historical Perspective and Current Empirical Status.
Lichtenberg, James W.; Wettersten, Kara B.
The notion of relational control in therapy has evolved as a concept over the past 30 years. This paper reviews the evolution of the construct of relational control as it relates to counseling and therapy. It analyzes the various ways that relational control has been used in process research and explores the manner in which counselors and clients communicate messages as they define their relationship. Also considered are the interactional coding systems that are intended to capture "relational control." It is suggested that the concept of relational control--although central to interpersonal and interactional perspectives within counseling and psychotherapy--is not as clear or unified a concept as either theorists or researchers might like. Some of the confusion arises from the use of different and inconsistent relational coding schemes, the use of different definitions and operationalizations for deriving indices of relational control from the various coding systems, and the analysis of treatment sessions without clear indications of whether the outcome of therapy was successful. It is suggested that programmatic research which formally takes into consideration the differences in relational control perspectives and operationalizations is needed. The paper concludes with a summary of research findings. Contains 83 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A