Novice Counselors’ Conceptualizations and Experiences of Therapeutic Relationships

  • Alison E. Schwing
  • Julie R. LaFollette
  • Jesse A. Steinfeldt
  • Y. Joel WongEmail author
Original Article


This qualitative study investigated three novice counselors’ experiences and characterizations of therapeutic relationships. Thematic analyses of interviews and diaries revealed six common themes: (a) the centrality of supervision and training experiences to navigating interpersonal experiences with clients; (b) anxiety about counselors’ roles in therapeutic relationships; (c) the perception of the therapeutic relationship as less directive than outside (lay) helping relationships; (d) experimentation with different interpersonal styles; (e) awareness of countertransference; and, (f) impact of therapeutic relationships on outside relationships. Findings expand upon the therapeutic relationship as a focal point for the training and supervision of novice counselors.


Therapeutic relationship Supervision Counselor training 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison E. Schwing
    • 1
  • Julie R. LaFollette
    • 1
  • Jesse A. Steinfeldt
    • 1
  • Y. Joel Wong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

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