Mon, 7 Aug 1995 20:27:15 -0400

I'm new to this list so I thought I would introduce myself. I am a
learning disabilities teacher at Medina High School and a doctoral student in
guidance and counseling at The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Medina is
a suburb south of Cleveland and northwest of Akron about equidistant between
the two cities. Having completed all the courses for my degree, I am
presently struggling with the dissertation while teaching full time. :- (
I've spent a lot of time over the past three years reviewing the literature
, but I haven't been able to get to the point of narrowing down the topic and
planning the research, though I've made several unsuccessful attempts to do

The area I am interested in researching is how counselors develop
constructs in the domain of person perception through their training and
experience. According to Kelly, counselors must use superordinate
constructs to subsume the constructs of their clients in order to form
hypotheses to test during therapy . The experience of providing therapy
should also permit counselors to test many hypotheses about human behavior
which will result in their developing a more effective system of construal
in the area of person perception than that developed by non- counselors.

At the present time, I'm not aware of any research comparing the
constructs or construct systems used by counselors with those used by
non-counselors. I would be most appreciative of any references concerning
this topic. There are a lot of questions that I have which might be worth
1) How do the construct systems of counselors change through training
and experience? Does the construct system become more differentiated? More
integrated? 2) Are there constructs that have shared meaning among
counselors that are not a part of the construct systems of non-counselors? 3)
Do counselors use the same constructs in construing clients and
acquaintances? (Stephen Soldz has done some exploration on this topic, but
there are a lot of unanswered questions.) 4) Are particular constructs
associated with particular types of clients? 5) Are there different
constructs associated with different theoretical orientations? If so, how are
these constructs linked to more superordinate constructs shared by counselors
regardless of theoretical orientation? 6) Do counselors view clients as more
or less different from themselves as they gain experience ? 7) Are there
particular constructs associated with liked and disliked clients ,
successful and unsuccessful clients, or difficult vs. easy clients? Does
the association of constructs with liked and disliked clients etc. change
as the counselor gains experience?

I'm also interested in the research related to the interpersonal circle,
the big five factors, and Goldberg's attempt create a taxonomy of trait

I am a faithful reader of the Journal of Constructivist Psychology,
though I can't say that I understand all of what I read. Maybe being on
this list will help. :-)