This exploratory study examined outcomes of single telephone counselling calls, with a self-selected sample of 38 clients from a family counselling agency. The sample was interviewed by telephone at two days and six weeks after the call to assess crisis counselling outcomes in affect, identification of the problem and action taken, and client equilibrium. Repeated measures of the ‘perceptual concordance’ of counsellor and client were taken over a period of six weeks, assessing levels of concordance between client and counsellor about perceptions of counselling, and client equilibrium. The sufficiency of a single counselling session was also assessed. ‘Perceptual concordance’ was suggested by reduced client stress, high levels of agreement between client and counsellor in the identification of the problem and agreed action, and satisfaction with the counselling. Positive indicators of restored client equilibrium included a maintenance of lower stress levels, changes in behaviour, improvement in perceptions of the seriousness of the problem, satisfaction with lite and with the counselling. Further research of equilibrium as a concept, and an indicator of crisis resolution is warranted. The sufficiency of a single session of counselling was supported by 56% of clients. The variety of services used by clients as an outcome of the counselling suggests that it could be beneficial for telephone counselling agencies to offer a follow-up call. Verifying the agreed action and assessing equilibrium could be useful indicators of effective telephone counselling.
|Date of Award||1995|