TitleAssessing lay theories of psychotherapy using the Q-sort method
NameGrinfeld Moses, Lisa (author), Messer, Stanley (chair), Fishman, Daniel (internal member), Richards, Jill (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Mental health personnel and patient
DescriptionThis study used the Q-sort method and qualitative interview to gather exploratory data on what potential psychotherapy clients think that therapists should be doing to best help their clients. While current literature suggests that clinical psychologists generally align themselves with either “psychodynamic/humanistic” or “CBT/scientific” views of psychotherapy, little is known regarding whether individuals seeking psychotherapy have similar views of the therapy process. Fifty-eight Q-sort statements addressing what psychotherapy should be like were created in consultation with clinical psychologists. Forty participants, twenty from the general population and twenty seeking therapy at a college counseling center, took part in the study. The procedure involved ranking Q-sort statements according to level of agreement and answering follow-up questions during an interview. Results indicated that participants did have worldviews, or “lay theories” of psychotherapy that corresponded to different approaches to conducting therapy. Factor analysis yielded two distinct groups of participants, with one group endorsing a more “unstructured” type of therapy in which open-ended reflection and exploration were considered important for therapy but having a formal diagnosis was not considered as crucial, and the other characterized by a more “structured” type of therapy in which formal diagnosis, goal setting and problem solving were considered more important. Other significant findings included an overall preference by all participants for therapy to be uniquely tailored to the individual client, for therapists to help the client talk about the past, and for therapists to focus on interpretation of clients’ communications.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Lisa Grinfeld Moses
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.