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Lee-Ann Sharp, Ken Hodge and Steve Danish

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.

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Fran Longstaff and Misia Gervis

This study examined how practitioners who provide sport psychology support use counseling principles and skills to develop practitioner-athlete relationships. Semistructured interviews were conducted with thirteen competent practitioners (Mean age = 41.2 ± 10.9 years old, five men, eight women). Thematic analysis revealed that the participants used a range of counseling principles to develop practitioner-athlete relationships including: the facilitative conditions, self-disclosure, counseling skills, the formation of working alliances, and awareness of the unreal relationship. The participants also described using noncounseling strategies (e.g., gaining an understanding of the athlete’s sporting environment) to build relationships with their athletes. There was considerable variation between the participants both in the training that they had received in counseling principles and skills, and how they applied them. It was concluded that counseling principles and skills play a significant role in the development of practitioner-athlete relationships.

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Paul R. Ashbrook, Andrew Gillham and Douglas Barba

–practitioner relationship: the quality of service provided and the athlete’s response to service. With regard to quality of service, assessing the working alliance (i.e., the interactive collaborative elements) between athlete and practitioner is valuable, as it is an important factor when developing successful consulting

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Rory J. Mack, Jeff D. Breckon, Paul D. O’Halloran and Joanne Butt

, Giges, & Danish, 1999 ; Sharp, Hodge, & Danish, 2015 ), particularly regarding counseling skills and the “working alliance,” yet trainee sport psychologists are often less clear on how to develop these engagement skills ( Katz & Hemmings, 2009 ). In measurement of the influence of the professional

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Daniel Birrer

, this was a potential pitfall and endangered the working alliance. For example, it was a challenge to empathize with Greg and take his personal dreams and goals seriously while also challenging his athletic identity by relativizing the value of an athletic career, including the value of physical

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Kristoffer Henriksen, Louise Kamuk Storm, Natalia Stambulova, Nicklas Pyrdol and Carsten Hvid Larsen

interventions require a coherent professional philosophy that integrates the entire efforts of the practitioner’s work ( Poczwardowski & Sherman, 2011 ). Second, successful sport psychology is contingent on a good client-practitioner relationship and working alliance with the athletes ( Gardner & Moore, 2007

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Ross Wadey, Kylie Roy-Davis, Lynne Evans, Karen Howells, Jade Salim and Ceri Diss

other SPCs who had worked in these contexts. This enabled the SPCs to elucidate personal values, observe social interactions, cultivate working alliances (e.g., with physiotherapists), understand contextual constraints and resources, and develop their contextual intelligence by garnering additional