Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Committee Member

Christopher L. Heavey, Chair

Second Committee Member

Marta Meana

Third Committee Member

Michelle Carro

Graduate Faculty Representative

Joel Lieberman

Number of Pages



Attempts to understand the nature and course of advising relationships in clinical psychology doctoral training have been limited in number and scope. Furthermore, they have almost universally applied theoretical models derived for the explanation of different types of relationships, with very little empirical inquiry aimed at examining the advising relationship as it actually exists. The present study sought to better understand advisory relationships in clinical psychology doctoral training and propose a theoretical model related to the dimensions of the relationship that emerged.

This was accomplished via semi-structured interviews with 18 clinical psychology Ph.D. candidates from training programs across the United States. There were four prominent themes which emerged from the interviews. First, participants consistently noted the importance of the interpersonal aspect of the relationship. Second, participants discussed the various goals of the advising relationship including: facilitating progress, developing research skill, and receiving professional advice. Third, participants noted contextual forces which shaped the relationship including: their history, the research lab and the department. Fourth and finally, participants discussed the dynamic nature of the relationship noting both gradual changes and critical shifts over time. These four themes were then integrated into a proposed theoretical model and contextualized within the prevailing literature.


Counseling; Counselor and client; Interpersonal relations; Physician and patient


Clinical Psychology | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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