First Advisor

Nancy Koroloff

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Nostalgia, Psychotherapy



Physical Description

1 online resource (136 pages)


The main purpose of the study was to develop information which would be useful to the counselors of the Reed College Counseling Service in their practice. Specifically, information was sought on the outcomes of one to one counseling sessions. The aim of the inquiry was to determine some of the dynamics and results of individual counseling with Reed students. The goal was to discover information about successful and unsuccessful counseling sessions which would benefit the counselors in the provision of their services.

A review of the literature on outcome research in psychotherapy suggested that focusing the study on the treatment of a single problem would yield the most useful information. In this light the literature seemed to point to the necessity of limiting the scope of research in studies of psychotherapy outcomes because of the complexity of psychotherapy. The development of the research design was guided by these insights. This study focuses on the dynamics and results of the treatment of a single problem: homesickness.

Homesickness was chosen as a problem whose treatment would be studied for two reasons. First, it was selected because the counselors suggested it as a problem whose treatment they would be willing to explore. Secondly, homesickness was chosen because of the feasibility of conducting a study of it. According to the counselors homesickness has been a frequently occurring problem in the Reed student populace. In the past the severity of homesickness symptoms has led many students each year to seek help at the counseling service. Homesickness was therefore feasible as a problem for study because it appeared to be a problem frequently encountered in counseling sessions. In addition the time of the greatest incidence of homesickness problems, the fall term, coincided with the most convenient time for research data collection. Thus, the treatment of homesickness became the focus of the study's efforts to develop information which would be useful to the counselors. Given this focus it was hypothesized that homesick students receiving counseling would evidence improvement as defined by the dimensions of measurement used in this study.

A secondary purpose of the study was to develop an understanding of how to conduct research in a functioning treatment setting. Although more diffuse than the first purpose of the study the second nevertheless instilled much of the work of the study with a certain attitude. The attitude was one of trying to maximize the potential learning experiences possible in the study.


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A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work

Persistent Identifier