Session helpfulness and session evaluation in short-term counselling

Anne L. Cummings, Azy Barak, Ernest T. Hallberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between perceived session helpfulness and session evaluation was examined in 11 dyads during eight sessions of short-term counselling. Results based on the Session Evaluation Questionnaire (Stiles, 1980) showed that, for clients, while depth, arousal, and positivity correlated with perceived session helpfulness, only depth and positivity entered a stepwise regression, yielding a multiple correlation of 0.76. For counsellors, while depth and positivity correlated with session perceived helpfulness, only depth entered the stepwise regression analysis, with a correlation of 0.70. Session depth also consistently correlated with change in perceptions of helpfulness from one session to another. Clients had higher depth scores for sessions that both participants rated as helpful. They had lower depth scores for sessions rated as less helpful by both participants or for sessions where participants disagreed in their helpfulness ratings. The centrality of counselling depth in affecting experiences of counselling helpfulness is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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