Another facet of the Agreeableness domain is Straightforwardness. This facet
measures a person’s willingness to interact with others in a frank, sincere, and ingenuous
manner or likeliness to be guarded in expressing true feelings (Costa & McCrae, 1992).
Counselors are trained to be careful with expressing in a straightforward manner their
assumptions or opinions. Doing so presumptively or prematurely may prevent or damage
a therapeutic relationship.
Another example of a facet that may affect the results of this study is the Altruism
facet. This facet is a measure of a person’s active concern for the welfare of others and
willingness to assist others who need help (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Although on face
value this facet may be perceived as a necessary aspect of a counselor’s personality
profile, counselor education programs assist students in discovering the importance of
essential boundaries in the therapeutic event. One of the goals of counseling is to assist a
counselee without the person becoming overly reliant upon the counselor. It is a goal to
help the client discover his or her own ability to navigate life’s challenges. The counselor
who scores high on altruism may have a strong relationship with a client, but not
necessarily a helpful one. Sullivan, Skovholt, & Jennings (2005) found in a qualitative
study that effective therapists expect strains and ruptures in a therapeutic relationship.
The end result is not detrimental to the therapy process but rather a safe environment is
created for healing to take place. The client may not have experienced this healing in