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J Couns Psychol. 2008 Oct;55(4):528-34. doi: 10.1037/a0013289.

Clients' pretreatment counseling expectations as predictors of the working alliance.

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Ohio University, Department of Psychology.


Because research suggests that counseling expectations are malleable and that alliance ratings predict clinical outcomes, the relationship between this pretreatment client characteristic (expectations) and the quality of the alliance early in treatment deserves further attention. This study examined the relationships between 57 clients' pretreatment role expectations and 3rd-session client-rated alliance in a naturalistic setting. Prior to intake, clients completed the Expectations About Counseling-Brief Form (H. E. A. Tinsley, 1982), and clients completed the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Form Revised (R. L. Hatcher & J. A. Gillaspy, 2006) following the 3rd therapy session. Results indicate that clients' expectations for personal commitment predicted the task, bond, and goal dimensions of the alliance. Expectations for facilitative conditions and counselor expertise did not predict clients' perceptions of the alliance. Clinical implications and research directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

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