Effects of paradoxical and self-control directives in counseling

Frederick G. Lopez, Cathrine A. Wambach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


32 students who reported having a serious and recurring procrastination problem were randomly assigned to either of 2 directive interview conditions (paradoxical or self-control) or to a no-interview control condition. Dependent measures included weekly S ratings of problem frequency, perceptions of problem controllability, expectation to change, and satisfaction with behavior, as well as a measure of Ss' perceptions of the interviewer. Results after 4 wks indicate that both directive groups exhibited generally greater improvement over time than controls and that the opposing forms of direction promoted different change patterns on self-report measures of problem frequency and controllability. Specifically, Ss exposed to paradoxical directives reported a sharper rate of change in their procrastination without viewing their problem behavior as significantly more controllable. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1982


  • paradoxical vs self control directive technique, procrastination problems, male college students

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