International students' views of the helpful and hindering factors in forming a therapeutic relationship in the context of a photo-assisted session

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


Using Interpersonal Process Recall, 8 international student participants (6 men, 2 women) described what they thought was helpful or hindering to the therapeutic relationship during an analog counselling session in a photo-assisted context. A thematic qualitative analysis revealed that the participants found five counsellor qualities and techniques as helpful to the therapeutic relationship: (a) active listening, (b) casualness, ( c) direction, ( d) enthusiasm, ( e) connected with client's culture. Three factors were identified as hindering to the therapeutic relationship: (a) language barriers, (b) fast pace, (c) counsellor disengagement. The following were deemed helpful factors related to the use of photographs: (a) provided a visual reference, (b) took focus away from client, (c) evoked emotions. Finally, ineffective incorporation was seen as an unhelpful aspect related to the use of photographs. The implications of these findings for counselling practice are discussed.