Description: The effects of the counselor's religious values on the counseling process has been a focal point recently in the literature on counseling and psychotherapy, especially with regard to how the counselor's announced values might effect potential clients' selection of a counselor. In the present study, the investigator addressed this issue in a study with 125 male and 125 female undergraduate students assigned to five different groups in which they read a script that differed with respect to the counselor's religious orientation. The content of the five scripts ranged from no mention of religious values to describing in detail the specific religious values of the counselor. Subjects' responses to the scripts were measured by having them rate (1) the degree of similarity in their own values and the announced values of the therapist; (2) their rating of how helpful they thought the therapist would be with their problem; and, (3) their stated willingness to see the counselor. Results indicated that subjects who read the script describing an agnostic counselor saw a significant degree of dissimilarity between their own and the counselor's values, but this did not affect subjects' perceptions of the counselor's helpfulness or their willingness to see the counselor. Differences in the degree of religiosity between subjects and sex differences observed were discussed as were implications for future research.
Date: May 1985
Creator: Wyatt, Steven C. (Steven Charles)