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Title: Marital counselling : follow-up study of marriage guidance clients : perceptions of the agency, the process and outcomes
Author: Hunt, Patricia A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 7041
Awarding Body: University of Aston in Birmingham
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 1987
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This study is a consumer-survey conducted with former Marriage Guidance Council clients. The objectives were to identify and examine why they chose the agency, what their expectations and experiences were of marital counselling and whether anything was achieved. The material was derived from tape recorded interviews with 51 former M.G. clients (17 men and 34 women) from 42 marriages and with 21 counsellors; data from written material and a card-sort completed by the research sample; and the case record sheets of the research population (174 cases). The results from the written data of clients showed that 49% were satisfied with counselling, 25.5% were satisfied in some ways but not in others, and 25.5% were dissatisfied. Forty-six percent rated they had benefited from counselling, either a great deal or to some degree, 4% were neutral and 50% recorded they had not benefited. However the counsellors' assessments were more optimistic. It was also ascertained that 50% of the research sample eventually separated or divorced subsequent to counselling. A cross-check revealed that the majority who rated they were satisfied with counselling were those who remained married, whilst dissatisfied clients were the ones who unwillingly separated or divorced. The study then describes, discusses and assesses the experiences of clients in the light of these findings on a number of dimensions. From this it was possible to construct a summary profile of a "successful" client describing the features which would contribute to "success". Two key themes emerged from the data. (1) the discrepancy between clients expectations and the counselling offered, which included mis­ match over the aims and methods of counselling, and problem definition; and (2) the importance of the client/counsellor relationship. The various implications for the agency are then discussed which include recommendations on policy, the training of counsellors and further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Management studies