C. Carrein, J-L. Bernaud and A. Di Fabio
University of Rouen, France
Counselor’s non-verbal self-disclosure and fear of
intimacy during employment counseling: an
aptitude-treatment interaction illustration.
Introduction
World of work in change  more need of help to develop a
career or to change career choice.
And
97.5% of an employment counseling sessions are
interviews (Laberon & Lagabrielle, 2005).

Necessity to know what are the critical ingredients
susceptible to explain the success of counseling sessions
(Brown, Ryan & al., 2003, Dik & Steger, 2008).
Introduction: definition
Self-disclosure:
Personal information disclosed by a counselor during a
counseling session.
Nonverbal self-disclosure:
Personal information disclosed by a counselor to a client
by means of visual object unverbalized.
Introduction
Watkins (1990):
His meta-analyse conclude to a positive general effect of self-disclosures.
Collins & Miller (1994):
The share of intimate informations encourage the build of a positive link
between the client and the counselor.
Barrett & Berman (2001):
Clients appreciate more professionnals who do self-disclosures than those who
don’t. The level of client distress is more reduced when counselor selfdisclosed than when the counselor doesn’t self-disclosed.
Introduction: Inconsistent results in career
counseling literature
Multon, Ellis-Kalton, Heppner, & Gysbers (2003):
The number of self-disclosures is negatively correlated with the working
alliance.
Bernaud & Leblond (2005):
They can’t separate the effect of condition « with » and « without » selfdisclosure when they study the counselor rating and help-seeking intent.
Dik & Steger (2008):
When counselor discloses career problems that he has already
experienced, it provokes a modeling effect benificial for the client.
Problem
All studies led are about « verbal » self-disclosures but none weigh selfdisclosures that are « nonverbal » . In addition, not many studies
consider client’s personality as a moderator factor.
1) What is nonverbal self-disclosure influence on employment counseling
client?
2) In accordance with past researche, we think that nonverbal self-
disclosures effect depend on fear of intimacy level. So we assume that
we will observed an aptitude-treatment interaction.
Participants
- The participants were recruited from a high-school in a western region
of France.
-The students were divided into three groups (34, 33 et 27 students), for a
total of 94 individuals (39 mens, 55 women, M age = 17.67 year, SD = 0.71 ;
range 17-20 year)
-Among the 94 participants the majority (84.04%) had already experienced
a meeting with a career counselor; among the 84.04%, 43.03% said they
were satisfied with their services.
Research materials
-In a preliminary study we asked the students to indicate, within the
context of career counseling, objects or elements that reveal personal
information about the counselor. 90% mentioned family pictures, 80%
mentioned art.
-A video of 8 min. was filmed exclusively for our research. : a career
counselor face-to-face with a client.
-We used Adobe After Effects to edit and create three separate films and
three separate experimental conditions.
Condition A: With no nonverbal self-disclosure.
Condition B: with moderate nonverbal self-disclosure
Condition C: with nonverbal self-disclosures evident
Instruments: Fear of intimacy scale
Descutner & Thelen (1991)
We chose FIS as a moderator for this experimental design it was adapted
specifically for this research project.
The scale has 35 questions and assesses the anxiety a person faces when
revealing personal information (i.e. : I would be afraid that 0 would be
more invested in the relationship than I would be).
In our experimental group (N=94) the Cronbach Alpha is 0.87, the same
as in the original study, no difference can be seen between men and
women (t (1, 92) = 0.06 ; N.S.).
Instruments: Counseling Rating Form
Barak & Lacrosse (1975)
12 items were created (Corrigan & Schmidt, 1983) mesuring expertness
(i.e. the counselor knows how to use their resources), attractiveness
(i.e. the counselor seems nice), and trustworthiness (i.e. the counselor
respects their engagements). The Cronbach Alpha for our French
sample (N = 94) is 0.87.
The varimax rotations brought out 2 factors; attractiveness, and
expertness. Due to the short running time of the video the participants
weren’t able to accurately evaluate the trustworthiness criteria; it is
therefore not considered for our statistical analyses.
Procedure
Experiment lasting 30 minutes:
Étape 1: The color film was shown after a short description of the research
project.
Étape 2: Then we asked them to fill out questionnaires: a scale evaluating
the counselor (CRF-S de Corrigan & Schmidt, 1983).
Étape 3: a demographic questionnaire: questions about their perception of
the experimental elements manipulated in the video, their feelings about
evaluating the counselor, their sex, their age.
Étape 4: Self-evaluation of the fear of intimacy (FIS de Descutner &
Thelen, 1991).
Results
Group A
No selfdisclosure
N=34
Group B
Moderate selfdisclosure
N=33
Group C
Obvious selfdisclosure
N=27
38.2 %
61.8 %
45.4 %
55.6 %
40.7 %
59.3 %
17.47
0.61
17-19
18.12
0.74
17-20
17.37
0.49
17-18
85.20
16.01
78.27
19.96
81.96
22.23
Sex (percentage)
Men
Women
Age
M
SD
Range
FIS
M
SD
Results: Effects of nonverbal self-disclosure
A non-verbal self-disclosure and sex ANOVA doesn’t show a significant
difference between the three experimental conditions: F (2, 88) = 0.07; N.S.
c ondition; Moy. Moindres Carrés
Effet c ourant : F(2, 91)=,12252, p=,88484
Déc ompositi on effi cac e de l 'hypothèse
Les barres vertic ales représ entent les intervalles de c onfianc e à 0,95
88
86
84
score total CRF-S
82
80
78
76
74
72
A
c ondition témoin
B
C
deux révélations de soi non verbales
une révélati on de s oi non verbale
c ondition
Graph 1 : Rating average of the counselor according to experimental
conditions
Results: Effects of the aptitude-treatment
interaction
A, B, and C were compared with weak and strong fear-of-intimacy conditions
(the limit done with the median scores): the participants afraid of intimacy
evaluated less favourably the counselor showing her personality whereas the
opposite phenomenon is observed for people with a weak fear of intimacy.
86
84
CRF-total
82
80
78
FIS weak
76
FIS High
74
72
70
A
B
C
Conditions
Graph 2 : Interaction between the three experimental conditions and
the level of fear-of-intimacy
Results: Effects of the aptitude-treatment
interaction
To study the moderating effect of the fear-of-intimacy variable, two
hierarchical multiple regression analyses were done according the
procedure recommended as an effective way to test moderating effects by
Frazier, Tix, & Barron (2004).
The results, show a moderating effect when the A and C conditions are
compared.
Condition A versus Condition B
CRF-total
Step 1
FIS
Condition
Step 2
FIS x condition
Condition A versus condition C
B
Se B
95% CI

R²
B
Se B
95% CI

R²
-0.27
-1.58
2.07
3.88
-4.41, 3.86
-9.32, 6.16
-.02
-.05
.00
-3.53
-0.38
1.60
3.13
-6.73, -0.32
-6.64, 5.87
-.28
-.02
.08
-0.09
0.22
-0.53, 0.35
-.28
.00
-0.37
0.16
-0.70, -0.04
-1.51
.15*
Discussion
The professional who uses nonverbal self-disclosure is more
appreciate by individuals who don’t have fear of intimacy.
- Because they don’t be afraid to share intimacy, they are not
affect by the presence of nonverbal self-disclosure.
- Clients have the impression that they better know the
professional.
-Presence of family pictures shows that family is important
for the counselor.
Discussion
The professional who uses nonverbal self-disclosure is less
appreciate by individuals who have fear of intimacy.
- Presence of family pictures is seen like an improper thing.
- This
presence
shows
that
counselor
confounds
professional and private life.
Moderator effect of the fear of intimacy on nonverbal selfdisclosure impact. So we observe an aptitude-treatment
interaction.
Critiques
 Participants don’t have really experimented the
interview.
 The film shows a fictive interview.
 The place of nonverbal self-diclosures must be
discussed.
 The help-seeking intents don’t have been assessed.
Conclusion
The fear of intimacy has a moderator effect on nonverbal selfdisclosures impact.
It’s a necessity to weigh individual variables in research on self-
disclosure effect.
Future research : To help create guidelines for counseling
practices and to better contribute to the development of
adaptive counseling.
References
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Thank you for your attention
Cindy Carrein, Jean-Luc Bernaud and Annamaria Di Fabio
[email protected]
[email protected]
University of Rouen, France