Date: August 2008
Creator: Mitchell, Jessica L.
Description: Both interpersonal dependency and the importance of the therapeutic alliance to successful psychotherapy outcomes have been widely studied. However, these two areas of study rarely have been viewed conjointly despite the reportedly large number of clients with dependency who present for treatment. This study elucidated the relationship between interpersonal dependency and the therapeutic alliance. Additional hypotheses explored client-therapist agreement on alliance strength in relation to client interpersonal dependency. Participants were graduate student therapists (N = 26) and their individual psychotherapy clients (N = 40) in a training clinic at a large, southwestern university. Within their first three sessions of psychotherapy, participating clients told nine Thematic Apperception Test stories and completed structured self-report measures of adult attachment, social desirability, and psychological symptoms. Interpersonal dependency was scored from the TAT stories, using the TAT Oral Dependency (TOD) scoring system developed by Masling, Rabie, and Blondheim (1967) and Huprich (2008). Three sessions following initial data collection, participating clients and their therapists completed structured self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance. Analyses revealed that interpersonal dependency was not significantly associated with client and therapist alliance ratings or the congruence between client and therapist alliance ratings. However, specific scoring categories of the TOD were associated with ...
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