ERIC Number: ED420006
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Levels of Therapist Understanding and Client Feelings of Being Understood and the Length of the Therapy Relationship.
Lichtenberg, James W.; Hummel, Thomas J.
The length of the counseling relationship (number of sessions) was studied in relationship to (1) counselors' understanding of their clients' views of the depth and smoothness of their sessions and (2) clients' perceptions of being understood (regarding their views of their counseling sessions) by their counselors. Participants (17 therapists and 34 clients) responded to a questionnaire. It was expected that the longer the counselor and client had been in sessions together, the greater would be the counselor's level of understanding of the client's views of their session, and the greater the sense of feeling understood would be on the part of the client. The relationship between the length of therapy and the difference between therapist's level of understanding and the client's feeling of being understood--the size of this difference and its sign being an indicator of the "realism" of the participants' interpersonal perspectives--was also studied. Multiple correlation analysis was used, and a model is included. Results tentatively suggest that time in therapy may increase clients' sense of feeling understood by their therapists, and counselors' actual understanding of their clients, at least in terms of certain perceptions the two participants have of their sessions together. Further investigation is warranted. Contains 16 references. (Author/EMK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. General Research Fund.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).