'The weight of class': clients' experiences of how perceived differences in social class between counsellor and client affect the therapeutic relationship

J. Balmforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of a difference in social class on the therapeutic relationship has received less attention than other differences between counsellor and client, such as gender, race and sexual orientation. In this qualitative research study six clients who identified as working class were interviewed about their experience of a therapeutic relationship with a middle class counsellor and one middle class client was interviewed about a therapeutic relationship with a counsellor whom she identified as working class. Implications for counselling practice are discussed. These include the importance for therapists, supervisors and trainers of exploring their own class background and acknowledging the frame of reference from which they operate; the results show that counselling does not exist in an ideological vacuum.
LanguageEnglish
Pages375-386
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Social Class
Weights and Measures
Counseling
Qualitative Research
Vacuum
Sexual Behavior
Therapeutics
Counselors

Keywords

  • class
  • difference
  • power
  • therapeutic relationship

Cite this

@article{5ea529f3a3c44b20b1bf561ccc1b910f,
title = "'The weight of class': clients' experiences of how perceived differences in social class between counsellor and client affect the therapeutic relationship",
abstract = "The impact of a difference in social class on the therapeutic relationship has received less attention than other differences between counsellor and client, such as gender, race and sexual orientation. In this qualitative research study six clients who identified as working class were interviewed about their experience of a therapeutic relationship with a middle class counsellor and one middle class client was interviewed about a therapeutic relationship with a counsellor whom she identified as working class. Implications for counselling practice are discussed. These include the importance for therapists, supervisors and trainers of exploring their own class background and acknowledging the frame of reference from which they operate; the results show that counselling does not exist in an ideological vacuum.",
keywords = "class, difference, power, therapeutic relationship",
author = "J. Balmforth",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1080/03069880902956942",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "375--386",
journal = "British Journal of Guidance and Counselling",
issn = "0306-9885",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'The weight of class'

T2 - British Journal of Guidance and Counselling

AU - Balmforth, J.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - The impact of a difference in social class on the therapeutic relationship has received less attention than other differences between counsellor and client, such as gender, race and sexual orientation. In this qualitative research study six clients who identified as working class were interviewed about their experience of a therapeutic relationship with a middle class counsellor and one middle class client was interviewed about a therapeutic relationship with a counsellor whom she identified as working class. Implications for counselling practice are discussed. These include the importance for therapists, supervisors and trainers of exploring their own class background and acknowledging the frame of reference from which they operate; the results show that counselling does not exist in an ideological vacuum.

AB - The impact of a difference in social class on the therapeutic relationship has received less attention than other differences between counsellor and client, such as gender, race and sexual orientation. In this qualitative research study six clients who identified as working class were interviewed about their experience of a therapeutic relationship with a middle class counsellor and one middle class client was interviewed about a therapeutic relationship with a counsellor whom she identified as working class. Implications for counselling practice are discussed. These include the importance for therapists, supervisors and trainers of exploring their own class background and acknowledging the frame of reference from which they operate; the results show that counselling does not exist in an ideological vacuum.

KW - class

KW - difference

KW - power

KW - therapeutic relationship

U2 - 10.1080/03069880902956942

DO - 10.1080/03069880902956942

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 375

EP - 386

JO - British Journal of Guidance and Counselling

JF - British Journal of Guidance and Counselling

SN - 0306-9885

IS - 3

ER -