A Conceptualization of Therapeutic Communication: The WHAT Model

Gary Mihalyi Szirony, Jason D. Kushner


Communication forms a major component of the therapeutic process.  With words serving as a primary medium, the process of communication during counseling or psychotherapy may be represented by the four-phase model presented the present study.  In an effort to teach counseling technique, alleviate initial counseling session tension, as well as potentially increase counseling process efficacy and flow across theories, the WHAT Model is presented.  In order to empirically test the viability of the WHAT Model in a therapeutic environment, Brief Counseling Self-Confidence Scale scores (BCSCS) were analyzed before and after presentation of the model to master's level pre-practicum students.  Results of a paired samples t-test resulted in a significant difference found between groups, adding support for the model in improving scholarly productivity and counseling efficacy.


Therapeutic Communication, Counselor Education, Communication Process, Communication, Counseling, Psychotherapy

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