Ultimately It Comes Down to the Relationship: Experienced Consultants’ Views of Effective Sport Psychology Consulting

in The Sport Psychologist

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Lee-Ann SharpUlster University

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Ken HodgeUniversity of Otago

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Steve DanishVirginia Commonwealth University

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The purpose of this investigation was to; (a) examine what experienced SPCs perceived to be the necessary components of the sport psychology consulting relationship, and (b) examine individual contributions of the SPC and client to the consulting relationship. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit 10 experienced SPCs (8 male and 2 female, M age = 50.44 years, M years consulting experience = 21.67 years) who held current sport psychology accreditation/certification and who had considerable consulting experience. Following individual interviews, extensive content analysis revealed that the sport psychology consulting relationship was reflective of (a) rapport, (b) respect, (c) trust, (d) a partnership, and (e) a positive impact on the client. Members of the consulting relationship made individual contributions to the relationship; SPCs contributed; (a) honesty, (b) commitment, (c) knowledge and expertise, (d) counseling skills, and (e) professional ethical behavior. With clients contributing; (a) openness to change, (b) honesty, and (c) willingness to work.

Sharp is with the School of Sport, Ulster University, Belfast, UK. Hodge is with the School of Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Danish is with the Dept. of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Address author correspondence to Lee-Ann Sharp at l.sharp@ulster.ac.uk.
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