This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Broaching Style and Multicultural Counseling Competence Explored in the Context of Sexual Orientation




Fox, Sadi

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


The present study explored counselors-in-training (CITs) and their self-perceived competency in their work with lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) clients along with their perception of broaching behaviors with this population. Broaching is often presented as a skill that can be used consistent with multicultural counseling competence (MCC; Day-Vines et al., 2007). This study hypothesized that individuals who endorsed having an advanced level of broaching should be able to accurately rate another therapists’ MCC. CITs who participated in this study were randomly assigned to one of three vignettes portraying a first session therapy exchange between a therapist and a gay-identified client. The three vignettes differed in the amount and level of broaching style used by the therapist from a welcoming approach to an avoidant approach, and to a shut down approach. Results indicated that CITs were able to distinguish overall quality of therapy between the welcoming portrayal of therapy (i.e., the most advanced level of broaching in this study) and the shut down portrayal of therapy (i.e., no representation of broaching). Additionally, participants were able to distinguish between the avoidant portrayal of therapy (i.e., the least advanced level of broaching) and the shut down portrayal of therapy (i.e., no representation of broaching). The results of this study also found that participants were able to differentiate the levels of MCC of the therapist in the vignettes in that all three vignettes were rated significantly different on a measure of MCC. Participants’ self-reported competence with LGB clients was explored and the level of competence participants reported did not predict their ability to rate whether a therapist was portraying MCC. Additionally, the participants’ self-reported broaching styles did not predict their ability to differentiate MCC. Overall, this study has training implications and implications for work with LGB clients. This study’s results also call into question the utility of self-report measures and their ability to measure competence.