counselling (was: introduction)
Wed, 9 Aug 1995 00:44:04 +0000

Caroline Cook writes:

>The area I am interested in researching is how counselors develop
>constructs in the domain of person perception through their training and
and lists many interesting hypotheses
including the following:

>1) How do the construct systems of counselors change through training
>and experience?
> 2) Are there constructs that have shared meaning among
>counselors that are not a part of the construct systems of non-counselors?

To my knowledge, (somewhat limited in counselling), this is a rather old
question which surfaces now and again in the professional counselling
literature, though as far as I know not investigated much using pcp
approaches. (I know it's old because I researched an aspect of it about 7
years ago and I'm _ancient_.)

Peggy Kaczmarek and I collaborated to see whether the constructs about
counselling of relatively lay people (first year undergrads) were any
different to those of relatively experienced people (final year counselling
Masters students, themselves counselling practitioners).

The answer was yes; and, focusing specifically on the ways in which the two
groups construed various potential helper roles (e.g. a counsellor; a
personal friend; a university chaplain; a physician), we identified some of
the different constructs used by each group, discussing the implications
for the "training"
of possible clients in the role of counselling client- seems extraordinary,
but there is plenty of evidence around that there's a role to be learnt if
one is to benefit from counselling. This intrigued me because as an
occupational/management psychologist, I'm interested in the constraints on
learning and training; it interested Peggy because she was doing her own
PhD in counselling professionalisation, the function of outreach services,
and the client-counselor relationship. (She's in the School of Education at
New Mexico State University, BTW.)

If any of this sounds interesting, you might care to dig out the paper; the
reference is:

Kaczmarek P. & Jankowicz A.D. "American students' perceptions of counselor
approachability: professional implications" _International Journal for the
Advancement of Counseling_ 1991, 14, 4, (sorry, don't have the page

Some useful related (non-PCP) references are:

Shaw, D.E., Wittmer, J. & Orr, J.M. "Pretraining clients in specific
counselling communication skills" _Journal of College Student Personnel_
1985, 26, 23-26
and the one which created interest in the issue:
Friedlander, M.L. & Kaul, T.J. "Effects of role induction on counselling
process and outcome" _Journal of College Student Personnel_ 1983, 44,
If you were to do a Social Science Citation Index search on the latter,
you'd find plenty of references! Again, can't say if (m)any will take a pcp

Howver, you might also give Greg Neimeyer a shout: as a distinguished pcp
researcher, he's been active in this broad field for quite a while now.

Hope that's useful!

Kindest regards,

Devi Jankowicz