Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The purpose of the present investigation was to add to our understanding of the relationship between therapist-client value similarity and the quality of the therapeutic alliance. The study examined whether therapist-subject congruence on the achievement dimension of the Mental Health Values Questionnaire was predictive of some of the variables shown to contribute to positive therapeutic alliance, such as (1) subjects’ perceptions of a prospective therapist, and (2) subjects’ willingness to disclose sensitive information to a prospective therapist.
Subjects were assigned to a high-achievement or low- achievement group based on the their scores on the achievement dimension of the Mental Health Values Questionnaire. Subjects in each of these two groups were then randomly assigned to one of two therapist groups which viewed one of two videotaped monologue sessions in which a female therapist described the profession of clinical psychology, her educational background, and her personal approach to therapy. The two versions differed only with respect to the therapist’s explanation of the importance of achievement to mental health. After viewing the videotaped monologue sessions, each subject responded to a Background Information Questionnaire, Therapist Rating Questionnaire, and Personal Problems Questionnaire.
Results were examined to determine whether significant differences existed among therapist-value congruent subjects and therapist-value incongruent subjects with respect to their rating of a videotaped therapist, and their willingness to disclose personal information to that therapist. It was predicted that therapist-value congruent subjects would have more positive attitudes toward the videotaped therapist, and would also be more willing to discuss sensitive, personal issues with the videotaped therapist who had been depicted as having similar attitudes toward achievement and mental health.
Results revealed mixed suppcrt for these predictions. Support was found for the willingness of low-achievement, value- congruent subjects to discuss personal information with the videotaped therapist. However, minimal support was found for the prediction that value-congruent subjects would have more positive attitudes toward the videotaped therapist. Future research will be necessary to understand more fully the relationship between therapist-client value similarity and the quality of therapeutic alliance.
Schumacher, Marianne M., "The Effects of Therapist-Subject Value Similarity on Therapeutic Alliance" (1993). Theses and Dissertations. 3225.