Enhancement of the working alliance: A training program to align counselor and consumer expectations

Linda R. Shaw, Brian T. McMahon, Fong Chan, Elizabeth Hannold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Working Alliance has been described as a collaborative process characterized by shared goals, tasks and attachment bonds The development of a strong working Alliance is desirable in a rehabilitation system that embraces full and meaningful involvement from consumers. It has been suggested that the Working Alliance is dependent upon four factors that include congruence between counselor and consumer expectancies regarding counseling. This article describes a training protocol to help counselors develop awareness and specific skills aimed at consumers achieving greater congruence in expectations early in the rehabilitation counseling process. The protocol utilizes both didactic and experiential instruction and includes values clarification activities, use of the Expectations About Rehabilitation Counseling (EARC) Scale, and a conflict resolution approach to expectation convergence. Training protocols, materials, and processes are presented along with discussion regarding the impact of the training protocol on participating counselors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-125
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Consumer-counselor work relationships
  • Expectations about Rehabilitation Counseling (EARC) scale
  • Rehabilitation counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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