Psychology Final Assignment (a) Summarise the research article on “An investigation of session impact and alliance in internet based psychotherapy” which you will find in Appendix 2 (500 words). The main purpose of the study on session impact and alliance in internet based psychotherapy (D’Arcy et al., 2006) is, as the title suggests, to investigate how therapists and clients rate two aspects of the counselling experience in a context of internet based delivery rather than the more conventional face to face context…
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It is important to evaluate any changes in traditional delivery systems as they are being introduced in order to check whether they are having any positive or adverse effects, and to ensure that all the usual mechanisms for client welfare and quality control are in place. The two aspects of “session impact” which refers to the effect of the counselling session on the client, and “alliance” which refers to the quality of the relationship between the client and the counsellor, are critical factors in the counselling process. The presence of the computer between client and counsellor could, in theory, interfere with these two aspects, and that is the main reason why the researchers investigated this topic. The methodology used in this study is that of questionnaire and analysis. The researchers used two existing questionnaires, which had previously been adopted in respected studies of traditional face to face counselling sessions. The sample size was 16 therapists, who rated a total of 178 sessions, and 17 clients, who rated a total of 205 sessions. ...
The session evaluation questionnaire (SEQ) used “21 seven point bipolar adjective items” and the alliance measurement was the Agnew Relationship Measure, consisted of a short form with 12 items, using a seven point scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. The results are discussed using tables which show consistency reliabilities (coefficient alpha), means, and standard deviations and a commentary explaining what they mean. There are also some key questions which are highlighted inside a textbox, and this helps the reader to focus on the main points while looking at the detail of the data. The results, which are described by the authors as “preliminary results” (D’Arcy et al., 2006, 167), show generally positive evaluations on the part of both clients and counsellors, in terms of both session impact and alliance. Internet based counselling appears therefore to be rated as at least as effective as face to face counselling. This is interpreted as showing “a qualified encouragement for current face to face practitioners and potential clients” (D’Arcy et al., 2006, 167). There are some caveats relating to sample size and narrow demographic range, and there is an interesting finding that counsellors rated the alliance aspect more positively than clients, which raises a number of issues that merit further investigation. (b) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach to research contained in this article (1000 words). A major strength of this article is that it is breaking new ground by investigating the way that new technologies are being introduced into the counselling profession. There has been
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