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Impact of client and therapist gender on psychotherapy process and outcome.

by E E Jones, C L Zoppel
Journal of consulting and clinical psychology ()

Abstract

Two studies investigated the impact of client and therapist gender on psychotherapy process and outcome. In Study 1, therapists completed Rating Scales for Therapy Outcome (RSTO), the Therapist Questionnaire, and adjective checklist descriptions for 160 18–50 yr old former therapy clients, who were divided equally into 4 cells representing the possible client–therapist gender pairings. Results demonstrate that female therapists rated themselves as more successful, particularly with female clients, and that male therapists described patients in less socially desirable terms on the Adjective Check List than did female therapists. In Study 2, 99 former therapy clients completed the RSTO and the Client Posttherapy Questionnaire and were interviewed about their experiences in treatment. Factor analysis of patient-interview terms demonstrated that clients, regardless of gender, agreed that female therapists formed more effective therapeutic alliances than did male therapists. Despite this fact, both male and female clients of male therapists reported significant improvement as a result of therapy. It is concluded that while gender affects psychotherapy in important ways, the term "sex bias" does not do justice to its complex effects. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

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