A psychometric evaluation of the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory Obs-40 (Version 3) in humanistic counselling for young people

  • Kiranjeet Bhatti

Student thesis: PsychD


Many young people experience mental health difficulties, which, if left untreated, can have detrimental effects into adulthood. Humanistic therapies are widely used for this population; however, evidence of their effectiveness is limited. Research on humanistic therapy with young people can be supported by the existence of validated, observer-rater adherence measures. Following a literature review, the most appropriate instrument for such a purpose was identified as the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory (BLRI). This aims to measure Empathic Understanding, Congruence, Level of Regard, and Unconditionality of Regard. However, the psychometric properties of the BLRI have yet to be evaluated in young populations. Using 136 audio recordings of humanistic counselling with adolescents, the presence and level of the therapeutic core conditions were rated using the observer-rated BLRI Obs-40 (Version 3), and the psychometric properties of the scale were examined. Results of confirmatory factor analyses supported the original four-subscale dimensionality of the scale. Additionally, there was support for a model in which the first-order subscale factors loaded significantly on a single second-order factor of general ‘person-centeredness’. The internal consistency of the sub-scales and total score was high, and five-month test-retest reliability was satisfactory for total BLRI score. However, inter-rater reliability was found to be unsatisfactory across three independent raters using a sample of 50 recordings. The BLRI total score and subscales correlated strongly and significantly with the Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Scale adapted for young people (PCEPS-YP) with the exception of the unconditionality subscale. Results suggest the BLRI Obs-40 (Version 3) can be used with young populations in training and research environments; however, rigorous training for raters is necessary to strengthen scale reliability and use as an observer-rated measure.
Date of Award27 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorMick Cooper (Director of Studies) & Gina Pauli-Jones (Co-Supervisor)


  • Humanistic counselling
  • Young people
  • Reliability
  • Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory
  • Psychometric
  • Validity

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