Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 82 Issue 4 (December 2009), Pages 355-466

Do psychologically‐minded clients expect more from counselling? (pages 369-383)

Objectives. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between psychological mindedness and clients' expectations about counselling.

Design. A cross‐sectional design was employed to assess correlations among study variables.

Methods. Participants were 104 counselling‐centre clients at a mid‐size, Southwestern US university. Participant volunteers filled out the Psychological Mindedness Scale, life orientation test‐revised (LOT‐R), and the expectations‐about‐counselling questionnaire.

Results. Clients who reported higher levels of psychological mindedness (PM) reported greater expectations of self‐involvement in counselling and greater expectations of positive outcome. In contrast, PM was not significantly related to clients' expectations about their counsellors' in‐session behaviour or to expectations about their counsellors' general personality style. Dispositional optimism (LOT‐R) did not play a major role in the relationship between PM and expectations about counselling.

Conclusions. High PM clients do seem to expect more from counselling than low PM clients, particularly in terms of self‐involvement in the process and with respect to positive outcome. Consequently, therapists should consider assessing clients' PM, expectations, and the relationship between PM and expectations.

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