Development and Use of the Directives Rating System in Group Therapy

Randy D. Stinchfield, Gary M. Burlingame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Because no precise measure of directives exists, the Directives Rating System (DRS) was developed. The DRS classifies directives on the basis of unique linguistic form and the context in which the proposed activity is to occur. The DRS was applied to the 3rd-, 8th-, and 14th-session transcripts of 4 expert group therapists who conducted 15 2-hr weekly group therapy sessions. The DRS yielded satisfactory estimates of interrater agreement and validity. DRS ratings were related to therapists' theoretical orientation. Therapists tended to use imperatives and requestives when proposing in-therapy activity and advisories when proposing out-of-therapy activity. Therapists exhibited an increase in the use of directives proposing out-of-therapy activity and a decrease in the use of directives proposing in-therapy activity over the course of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes


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