This study examined the outcome effects of cognitive match between Asian and White outpatient clients and their therapists. Many clinicians believe that one hindrance to the treatment of ethnic minority clients is that therapists and clients may not share common assumptions and attitudes about therapy and about the problems that are presented in treatment. The study investigated client-therapist similarity in their perceptions of the presenting problem, coping orientation, and expectations about treatment goals. This study constituted a more rigorous test of the cognitive match, hypotheses in that it was prospective in nature, used separate and independent sources for the cognitive predictors, employed multiple outcome measures, and focused on specific attitudes and perceptions that are quite salient and relevant to treatment. Cognitive match on treatment goals was predictive of session impact. Moreover, cognitive matches in avoidant coping orientation and in perceived distress associated with interpersonal problems were predictive of certain treatment outcomes. The findings may help explain why clients matched on ethnicity with their therapists tend to stay longer in treatment and do better in psychotherapy. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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