Kapitel 4

Cooper, M. (2010). Essential Research Findings in Counselling and psychotherapy.London: SAGE

Client specific characteristics:

– Motivation from the client to go into therapy has a great importance for the outcome of therapy. Specially clients that have consciously chosen their therapist and who had an active role in the tasks, active shoppers, get a great outcome. Clients that tries to avoid to talk or solve the tasks that are presented get a worse outcome. The degree to how freely the therapy is chosen is important for the outcome. These characteristics have about 20 % importance for the outcome.

– Clients expectations to therapy is also important for outcome. It works like the self-improved prophecy and can explain why some clients experience improvement before therapy even begins. However clients with abnormal high expectations does not have benefits of these. This characteristic can cause 15 % of the outcome.

– Clients expectations to how the therapeutic process will be is also important for outcome. It will be a good idea with a “role-induction” interview, that is a kind of psycho-education, which teaches the client what will happen in therapy before it starts. This can reduce the drop-out rates and anxiety about therapy.

– Clients perception of what their disorder is caused by, their predilections, and the treatment method they get assigned is important for outcome. The greater congruence between these two, the better.

– Clients preferences for treatment method is also important, some studies do however show that their predilections are more important.

– Clients psycho-social function can be controlling for improvement. The clients with some psycho-social abilities get more out of therapy than clients without. However clients with emotional distress will get more out of treatment, because there is room for improvement.

– Personality disorders is a bad sign for outcome of therapy. Clients who have both an axis 1, clinically syndromes like depression, and a axis 2, disorders, personality or developmental disorder, perform worse in therapy. However some studies show that it can be the type of personality disorder that can control the outcome of therapy.

– Attachment style and interpersonal style is also important for the outcome of therapy. Secure attached clients get the most out of therapy as they have the best interpersonal style. The exception is dismissive attached who can also forms a great client-therapist relationship and get a good outcome of therapy.

– The client’s perfectionism is controlling for the outcome of therapy, with the least perfectionist clients to get the best improvement.

– The clients who has most psychological mindedness experience the greatest improvement after therapy.

– The clients who is longest in stages of change experience most improvement, an example could be stages of change concerning smoking; precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintance and termination. The therapy will work best if it is specific directed at the stage the client is in.

– the more social support a client gets, the better an improvement. This also concerns other forms of treatment. However therapy can help to form close relations.


Observable characteristics:

– sex does not have a big importance for outcome of therapy. In rare conditions it is found that women experience greater improvement.

– sexual orientations has a very small importance for therapy, homosexuals has a growing tendency to use therapy.

– Age has a small importance for the outcome of therapy, except depression where younger people improves more.

– Ethnicity has a small importance for outcome of therapy. However people from other cultures are less happy about therapy as well as people from lower socio-economic status who also has a greater drop-out rate.

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