Journal of Counseling Psychology
Descriptions by 12 therapists of their experiences receiving tangible gifts from clients are examined. Using consensual qualitative research (C. E. Hill, B. J. Thompson, & E. N. Williams, 1997) therapists’ overall gift encounters and specifically identified gift events were explored. Results indicated that although clients rarely gave gifts, all of the participants had accepted gifts. Problematic gifts (i.e., ones that raised concern for therapists) were given at more provocative times than were unproblematic gifts (i.e., ones that evoked few concerns for therapists). Both types of gifts were given for various reasons (e.g., appreciation, manipulation, equalization). Participants reported positive and negative internal responses to both types of gifts, but more often discussed unproblematic than problematic gifts with clients. Problematic gifts were more often discussed with others than were unproblematic gifts. Gift episodes of both types facilitated therapy process.