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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 19 / 135

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30% of client improvement to relationship factors (Lambert, 1992). Grencavage and

Norcross (1990) researched fifty studies that were published from 1936 through 1989 and

found 89 different commonalities among the proposed therapeutic common factors

shared by diverse psychotherapies. Using five superordinate categories: client

characteristics, therapist qualities, change processes, treatment structure, and relationship

elements, it was discovered that the greatest consensual commonality of the authors (56

%) was the development of the therapeutic alliance. Consensual commonality of the

authors for beneficial therapist qualities was 24%.

The significance of the counselor’s personal variables became more apparent with

the contribution that was made to the counseling profession by Carl Rogers and what is

now known as Client-Centered Therapy. Rogers (1957; 1958) argued that effective

psychotherapeutic work depended upon the attitudes of the therapist and the relationship

of the therapist with the client, and not merely upon techniques. He argued that the

relationship should communicate wholeness and congruence, lending assistance to the

helping event. Conditions required for therapeutic change include an unconditional

positive regard for the client and an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame

of reference. This empathic understanding must also be communicated to the client.

According to Rogers (1958), the attitudes and feelings of the therapist are more essential

elements in therapy than theoretical orientation.

This bold assertion by Rogers (1957) that the counseling relationship and the

personal qualities of the therapist are essential (both necessary and sufficient conditions

for therapeutic success) has been supported by others also. Truax (1963), for example,

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