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helm, Heather M.

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The orientation model is a multidimensional measure of dual-processing capacities that incorporates four empirically-validated instruments taken from the existing literature on cognitive processing, attachment, empathy, and self-focused attention. As a strength-based conceptualization tool for humanistic counseling practices, the model is intended to provide counselors with a flexible means to assess non-diagnostic client attributes within a dispositional model of client cognitive processing patterns. Although humanistic principles often conflict with the use of quantitative instruments in clinical practice, the model is guided by the tenet that objective measures can effectively supplement clinical insight into client patterns of functioning. It thus serves as a means by which to bridge the gap between objective testing and the philosophical tenets upheld by humanistic counselors. As such, this survey-based study examined the habitual use of dual-process tendencies using four established, non-clinical, and empirically-validated instruments: the Rational-Experiential Inventory (REI; Epstein, Pacini, Denes-Raj, & Heier, 1996), the Differentiation of Self Inventory-Revised (DSI-R; Skowron & Schmitt, 2003), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980), and the Reflection-Rumination Questionnaire (RRQ; Trapnell & Campbell, 1999). The coherence of the orientation model rests on the presupposition that each of the subscales within the four instruments correspond with distinct dual-processing styles. The current study was designed to explore this possibility in order to validate the conceptual underpinnings of the orientation model itself. Self-report responses from 375 college students were used to determine whether relationships grounded in dual-processing capacities exist among the disparate model variables. Canonical correlation and multivariate analysis of variance results suggest that the orientation model provides a descriptive framework for distinguishing self-perceived adaptiveness or perceptiveness from emotional vulnerability or sensitivity rather than providing an explanatory foundation linked to dual process theories. This interpretation is examined in relation to the dual-processing literature, and directions for future research and theory generation are suggested. Practical implications are discussed in terms of applying the model as a case conceptualization tool in clinical and supervisory settings, concerns related to potential misinterpretations of a thinking/feeling dichotomy in clinical practice, and the therapeutic value of the instruments outside a dual-process framework.


Case Conceptualization, Counseling, Dual Processing, Existential, Humanistic, Quantitative


173 pages

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