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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 20 / 135

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stated that the focus should not be on developing a therapist’s skills, but on the behavior

of the therapist. Further research contended that the effective therapists were those who

possessed certain personal qualities, over and above the use of mere technical skill and

theoretic orientation (Bergin, Murray, Truax, & Shoben, 1963). Van Der Veen (1965)

argued that counselors and patients influenced each other. For Carkhuff (1966), a model

of successful counseling must by necessity be multidimensional, including counselor

variables, client variables and contextual and environmental variables. Key counselor

variables include the counselor’s personality and attitude. Combs and Soper (1963)

noted that the effectiveness of counseling was due to a perceptual orientation instead of a

behavioral one and argued that a counselor’s general perceptual orientations, perceptions

of other people, perceptions of themselves, and perceptions of their purpose are

distinguishing factors of good counselors. Combs (1986) has commented that good

helping is being people oriented and having more positive beliefs about people. It

involves having a positive view of self and having certain beliefs about purpose.

As a result of the emphasis on the necessary essential attributes of a counselor,

criticism has been levied against The American Psychological Association and the

American Counseling Association for emphasizing knowledge, techniques and training,

and omitting characteristics of the therapist except for negative effects (Herman, 1993).

Furthermore, Jackson and Thompson (1971) concluded that there is a great difference in

counseling effectiveness by those counselors who view most people and clients as

friendly, able, and worthy. It was suggested that student attitude ought to be researched

as a criterion for admission to counselor education and that possibly some applicants

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