Date of Award
Honors Thesis Number
DiLalla, David & Schmeck, Ronald
Research is increasingly suggesting that therapist and client ratings of greater beneficialI outcomes from therapy are strongly related to client and therapist perceptions of increasing convergence and generally positive expectations before counseling even begins. Using an analogue format, this study attempts to fill a void in the counseling literature by investigating Christian and non-Chiistian subjects' expectations for counseling with a Christian counselor, an agnostic counselor, or a counselor with no specified theistic orientation. After reviewing an analogue counselor description, subjects responded to the modified Brief Form of Tinsley's (1982) Expectations About Counseling questionnaire. Subjects' theistic orientation was assessed according to their responses on the Shepherd Scale, a Christian/non-Christian differentiation instrument derived solely from biblical scnpture, with the highest scoring two-fifths labeled "Christian" and the lowest scoring two-fifths labeled "non-Christian". Analyses of the data from subjects reveal differences in expectations about counseling as a function of subject's sex, subject's theistic orientation, and counselor's theistic orientation. A statistically significant correlation (r= 0.699) between subjects scoring in the upper two, fifths of the distribution of the Shepherd Scale and their scores on the "Religious Behavior" scale of the EAC-BF modified version who responded to the Christian counselor script was obtained. A moderately negative correlation (r= -0.479) was found between subjects scoring in the lower two-fifths of the distribution of the Shepherd Scale and their scores on the "Religious Behavior" scale of the EAC-BF modified version who responded to the agnostic counselor script.