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Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Research Data Base [ Paxton L, 1980. | Id:126 ]

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Paxton L K: Representational systems and client perception of the counseling relationship. Dissertation Abstracts International 41(9), 3888-A Indiana University (Order = 8105941): 141, 1980.

Abstract: Counseling is an interpersonal influence process. One factor in this process is counselor influence of client perception of the counseling relationship. Counselor verbal style within the interview is a means of influencing positive or negative client perception. A representational system is a verbal style reflecting patterns of sensory predicates spoken in conversation. Counselor use of representational systems is hypothesized to influence the direction of client perception of the counseling relationship. The purpose of this study was to examine (1) if clients whose primary representational system was matched by the counselor had a more positive perception of the counseling relationship than did the non- matched control clients; (2) if clients whose primary representational system was mismatched by the counselor had a less positive perception of the counseling relationship than did the non-matched control clients; and, (3) if clients whose primary representational system was matched by the counselor had a more positive perception of the counseling relationship than did mismatched clients. The design of the study was a factorial type with unequal cell sample sizes. The treatment factor had three levels: matching, mismatching, and non-matching. The counselor factor had four levels representing the four trained counselors. The subjects were 48 intake clients at Family and Children's Service of Midland who agreed to participate in an agency evaluation of services. The greatest percentage of subjects were women between 26 and 35 years of age, who had attended or graduated high school. The subjects were randomly assigned to a treatment group. After the subjects agreed to participate in the study, the experimenter obtained a taped sample of subject communication style. The sample was rated to determine the subject's most highly valued representational system. The subject was then randomly assigned to a treatment condition. The counselor was instructed to consistently choose predicates in the representational system --auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or non-specific --assigned. After the treatment interview, the subject completed the revised Relationship Questionnaire as the measure of client perception of the counseling relationship. The questionnaire was scored and samples of the treatment interview were judged for accuracy. The data collected from the matching, mismatching, and non- matching subjects indicated their perceptions of the counseling relationship after an initial interview were analyzed by a completely randomized two-factor analysis of variance. No counselor or interaction effects were found. However, a significant difference at p<.01 existed between treatment groups in terms of client perception of the counseling relationship. Scheffe tests indicated that both matching and mismatching groups are significantly different (p<.01) from the non-matching controls, but not different from each other. Null hypothesis one, stating that there will be no significant differences between clients receiving the matching treatment and clients receiving the non- matching control procedure on the variable of client perception of the counseling relationship, was rejected. Null hypothesis two, stating that there will be no significant difference between clients receiving the mismatching treatment and clients receiving the non-matching control procedure on the variable of client perception of the counseling relationship, was rejected. Null hypothesis three, stating that there will be no significant difference between clients receiving the matching treatment and clients receiving the mismatching treatment on the variable of client perception of the counseling relationship, was not rejected. The results indicate that counselors who frequently use predicates reflecting a specific sensory representational system during the counseling interview will influence a more positive client perception of the counseling relationship than will counselors who infrequently use predicates reflecting several sensory representational systems.


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