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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/90510
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- An exploration of psychological characteristics of people seeking relationship counselling in an Australian clinical setting
- Carmady, Adele
- Couple counselling has been offered in Australia for over 60 years and while professionalism and training standards have increased in that time very little research has been conducted that has investigated the reasons people seek relationship counselling and the benefits they receive from professional assistance. The current research aimed to narrow the gap between theory and practice in an Australian clinical setting. Empirical research conducted globally into relationship counselling shows that marital therapy is at least as efficacious as other forms of psychotherapy yet few evaluation studies have been conducted in clinical settings. Client satisfaction with the outcome of relationship counselling from the client’s perspective includes whether the goals of counselling were met, an increase in relationship satisfaction and a decrease in personal and/or relationship distress. Research has also shown that clients and counsellors often differ in their perceptions of what occurred in counselling. The current study explored pre and post counselling variables for couples attending for relationship counselling in a clinical setting and also explored counsellor perceptions of satisfaction with counselling outcome. Participants were clients who contacted a branch of a national provider of relationship services in Australia. Seventy six people completed pre counselling questionnaires and of these 20 people completed a post counselling questionnaire. Fifteen different counsellors also completed questionnaires about these participants. Results showed a significant gender difference with women overall being less satisfied with their relationship prior to counselling than men. Men and women were significantly more depressed, stressed and anxious and there was also a higher proportion of insecurely attached people than is found in the general population. While conducting research in real-life settings can be problematic due to the high levels of distress people are experiencing at the time such research is crucial in order to improve clinical practice. Recommendations for future research in clinical settings include further exploration of the relationship between insecure attachment, depression and relationship problems in adult life.
- Publication type
- Thesis (DPsych)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2010 Adele Ruth Carmady.