Counselor Gender Self-Confidence and Social Influence In Counseling: Counselor Perceptions of the Therapeutic Alliance
The purpose of this study was to investigate how a counselor's biological sex, gender self-confidence (which includes gender self-definition and gender self-acceptance)and the counselor's use of social influence (which includes soft and harsh power bases) within the counseling relationship explains the working alliance between the counselor and client. The sample of 161 participants were surveyed on the working alliance with clients (Horvath and Greenburg, 1989), use of social influence in the counseling session (Raven, Schwarzwald and Koslowsky, 1998), and gender selfdefinition/self-acceptance (Hoffman et al., 2000). A demographics questionnaire provided participant data on the biological sex, age, race, and number of years working as a practicing licensed counselor. This questionnaire also provided information on the counselor setting within which the participants work. The degree of socially desirable answers was evaluated (Crowne and Marlowe, 1960).
Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data. Results revealed that harsh and soft power bases, gender self-definition, gender self-acceptance, and biological sex combined to significantly predict the quality of the working alliance, explaining 11.8% of the variance. Harsh power base was the strongest significant predictor in the equation. Results indicated that as harsh power base scores increased, the quality of the working alliance decreased. As gender self-definition scores increased, the quality of the working alliance decreased. As soft power base and gender self-acceptance scores increased, the quality of the working alliance increased.
Supplemental analysis revealed (a) statistically significant correlation between harsh and soft power bases, and (b) statistically significant correlation between gender self-definition and gender self-acceptance. Findings support the importance of counselor characteristics regarding use of social influence in the counseling session and the degree of gender self-definition/self-acceptance to build a quality working alliance between the counselor and client. The research provides demographic data on the participants. A discussion of the pilot study results, survey instruments, multiple regression analysis, supplemental analysis, implications/recommendations of the study and directions for future research are presented.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:counseling alliance gender power social influence
Date of Publication:01/01/2008