Dominance and Outcome. A Sequential Examination

Terence J. Tracey

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56 Scopus citations


Haley's (1963) contention that successful counseling is characterized by the counselor being in control, or dominant, was examined using a statistical dependency definition of control. The three best and the three worst dyads, in terms of both client- and counselor-rated outcome, were selected from a pool of 15 time-limited counseling dyads. All interaction was rated for topic-initiating or topic-following responses. The extent to which each participant's topical response was predictable based on the other's previous response was calculated. These two indexes of dependence, one for the client and one for the counselor, were then compared for differences. The results demonstrated that counselors were dominant in the successful dyads, whereas dependency was equal in the unsuccessful dyads. To determine if these results were associated with certain stages of the process of the successful dyads, a post hoc analysis testing for dependency differences across the stages found by Tracey and Ray (1984) was conducted. Counselor dominance was found only in the middle, conflict stage. Implications regarding definitions of control and counselor behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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