3.1 The Qualitative Approach

3.2.3 Procedure

Participants were interviewed either at their place of employment (9) or

in their own home (4). Interviews were audiotaped and lasted for between 13

and 45 minutes (M =28.27, SD=9.09). Audiotaped interviews were

professionally transcribed verbatim, with accuracy checked by the author by

listening to the tape whilst reading the transcript.

A semi-structured interview, with open-ended questions, was developed.

The interview contained questions in four categories: demographic information,

for instance “Do you counsel both religious and non-religious clients”; questions

individuals you counsel have different levels of insight into their problems”;

questions about clients’ levels of motivation, such as “Do you feel that the

religious and non-religious individuals you counsel have different levels of

motivation to change”; and other comments that participants wished to add

(Appendix G).

3.2.4 Pilot Test

A pilot test was undertaken with one participant to ensure that the

questions were pitched at an appropriate level. The only issue to arise from this

concerned referring to participants as “counsellors”. When asked, “of your

working week, roughly what percentage of your time is spent counselling?” the

participant reported that he did not see himself as a counsellor:

I have a series of interviews with people during the week, some of

them here in the office and some of them outside, and I try not to

ah, call myself a counsellor and so I try not to give an impression

that the people are coming for a counselling session. I suppose I

see my role as a companion or an adviser to people.

In discussing this question at the end of the interview, the author asked if

the participant felt that this question should be altered. A decision was made to

leave the question as it stood, as the participant suggested that referring to

participants as “counsellors” may assist in differentiating those who perceive

themselves as counsellors, versus those who see their role as a companion,

3.2.5 Analysis of Themes

The transcriptions were analysed using NUDIST, a computerised content

analysis system. Content analysis is an iterative process where themes emerge

from continuous, ongoing analysis of transcripts. Based upon the results of the

previous study and the interview structure, a preliminary coding system was

developed and revised as analysis continued. The final list of codes contained

107 items, divided into four topic areas: items related to perceived client insight,

items related to perceived client motivation to change, demographic information

and miscellaneous topics. These codes and their definitions can be found at

appendices H and I.

3.2.6 Coding Validity

In order to validate the authors coding, an independent rater coded the

questions concerning insight and motivation for four (31%) transcripts. Inter-

rated reliability reached 79.98%.

3.3 Results

The results of this study will be presented in three main sections. The

first will present demographic information about the counsellors and their

clients, the second will discuss participants responses to questions concerning

the amount of insight that clients were perceived to have, and the third will

review counsellors’ perceptions of the amount of motivation that clients brought

to counselling. Relevant quotations from transcripts will be provided as “raw

3.3.1 Demographie Information

It is perhaps not surprising that counsellors working in a secular

environment spent a larger proportion of their working week counselling,

compared to those in a religious environment. Those working in a secular

environment reported that counselling activities accounted for between 7.5 and

75% of their working week (M=25.83. SD=25.13), whilst those in a religious

environment reported that they spent between 5 and 25% of their working week

counselling (M=16.67. SD =8.32).

There was also heterogeneity in the religiosity of the clients that both

groups of counsellors counselled. Three counsellors working in a religious

environment reported that approximately 90% of their clients were non­

religious, five indicated that the majority of their clients were religious and one

did not know, as it was not germane to the type of counselling he was doing.

One counsellor working in a secular environment counselled more religious than

non-religious clients and three counselled more non-religious clients. As the

following quotation indicates, counsellors working in a religious environment,

who reported counselling more non-religious clients than religious clients, found

that whilst much of their counselling activities occurred within a church

environment, they often counselled non-religious individuals who were seeking

services such as baptisms, weddings or funerals, or who arrived on the churches’

doorstep because of a life crisis.

Some ... (come to the church) ... because they’d like to be

them in their life and for one reason or another they end up on the doorstep ... and these are people who are often so lost for an answer to the question that they will try even the church, so I don’t think that, they might come with some sense o f God, but not always.

Finally, a measure o f counselling experience was calculated from the time that counsellors completed their training. Those who trained in a religious environment had between 1 and 25 years experience (M=9.83, SD=5.6) whilst those trained in a secular environment had between 1 and 32 years experience (M=10.43, SD=10.33).

In document The effects of belief similarity and difference, on religious counsellors' judgements of religious and non-religious clients (Page 85-89)