The purpose of this study was to analyse and determine the role of feedback systems, interaction analysis scales and model performances in the educational programmes of personal service professions such as teacher education, counselling, social work and health sciences. The
basic assumption underlying this study was that these educational programmes operate within a teaching -learning environment and that the components under investigation could be used to analyse and develop professional skills in the area of interpersonal communication.
This study involved an analysis of the underlying theory and the relative effects of selected interaction scales on the model counselling performance of four experts in the area of interpersonal communication and in terms of each expert's written and recorded theory of counselling. Such analysis required precise descriptions of counsellor-client verbal
behaviour and the data must be secured by direct or recorded observation using analytical instruments which can differentiate the varying patterns of verbal interactions in the interviews.
The four experts selected from the area of interpersonal communication, Carl Rogers, Rudolph Dreikurs, Fritz Perls and Virginia Satir, are well -known as theoreticians and practitioners. Each expert recorded his theoretical position on counselling strategies followed by one recorded demonstration interview with a client.
Three interaction scales, Casework Treatment Typology, Counsellor Verbal Response Scale and Sequential Analysis of Verbal Interaction were developed in three different academic disciplines, all having professional educational programmes. The three scales were well documented regarding theoretical bias, assumptions, operational definitions and coding rules.
These interaction scales were used to analyse the interpersonal communication between the counsellor and the client in each recorded interview.
The results of the analysis gave support for the following conclusions that can be made within the limitations of the study:
1. Audio recordings and written transcripts containing segments of interviews can provide a data base for the analysis and interpretation of differentiated patterns of interpersonal communication in counselling practice.
2. The interaction analysis scales provided a data base for the
analysis which revealed the degree of correspondence between the theory and practice of each expert in interpersonal communication.
3. An analysis of the interaction data from the interviews combined with an analysis of the theory underlying each of the interaction scales and the documented theoretical positions of the experts revealed the degree of correspondence of the counselling theories and practices with the theoretical constructs of each scale.
This study concluded with suggestions for further research and with recommendations on how feedback systems, interaction analysis scales and model performances can be used within the personal service professions to develop skills in interpersonal communication.