The quality of the counseling relationship has proven to be the most significant factor in facilitating treatment adherence and positive counseling outcomes. The authors of the present article contend that the dynamics of the sport psychologist-athlete relationship are quite similar to those of counselor-client relationship. They offer suggestions for the training of sport and exercise psychology graduate students that borrow extensively from the research and training strategies used in counselor education. In particular, a possible interface between sport psychology and counseling psychology training and practice is suggested, a brief overview of research on the qualities of the counseling relationship is presented, and several training strategies are provided.
Albert J. Petitpas and Burt Giges are with the Department of Psychology at Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109. Steven J. Danish is with the Life Skills Center and Department of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284.