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06.03.2019 | Original Paper

The Relationship Between Client Regulatory Focus and Treatment Use Intentions, Attitudes, Credibility Beliefs, and Outcome Expectations for Psychotherapy

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Autoren:
Jake Park, Joshua K. Swift, Elizabeth A. Penix
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Client variables in psychotherapy have been shown to play an important role in psychotherapy, explaining a significant amount of variance in treatment engagement, the therapeutic alliance, and psychotherapy outcomes; however, little is known about how the client variables develop. Specifically, there may be internal characteristics of the client that underlie several client attitudinal variables that play a role in psychotherapy. The purpose of this study was to test one particular client internal characteristic (regulatory focus) as a predictor of the psychotherapy use intentions, attitudes, credibility beliefs, and outcome expectations that clients hold. Participants from a nation-wide sample of adult clients (N = 663) and a sample of college students (N = 192) completed measures of regulatory focus, treatment use intentions, attitudes toward psychotherapy, credibility beliefs, and outcome expectations. Taken together, participants’ promotion-focus and prevention-focus scores significantly predicted treatment use intentions, attitudes, credibility beliefs, and outcome expectations. Specifically, across both samples a greater promotion-focus was significantly associated with more positive attitudes, credibility beliefs, and expectations. In contrast, a greater prevention-focus was significantly associated with more negative attitudes and not significantly related to credibility beliefs for psychotherapy. These results suggest that researchers and clinicians may want to focus on increasing promotion-focused goals and attitudes in clients in order to increase psychotherapy treatment-seeking and engagement.

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