Title

Self-concealment as a predictor of psychotherapy outcome.

Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Porter, James,

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Psychotherapy research is aimed at discovering factors and mechanisms that influence therapy outcome to guide provision of effective treatment. One client factor that has received recent attention is self-concealment, which is a predisposition to actively conceal from others personal information that one perceives as distressing or negative (Larson & Chastain, 1990). Self-concealment has been studied in relation to attitudes toward therapy, willingness to seek therapy, and therapeutic progress. The findings, however, have been inconclusive and researchers have not studied self-concealment in relation to therapy outcome. The objective of the present study was to examine the relationship between self-concealment and distress and between change in these variables over the course of psychotherapy. The relationship between self-concealment, therapy duration and client demographics also was examined. Participants who attended outpatient psychotherapy at University of Windsor's Psychological Services Centre completed questionnaires at therapy intake and termination assessing self-concealment, global distress, depression, and state and trait anxiety. Correlation and multivariate regression analyses found that participants' self-concealment tendencies and levels of general distress, depression, and anxiety reduced from pre- to post-therapy. Although intake self-concealment was linked to intake distress, intake self-concealment was not found to be associated with termination distress, reduction in distress, premature termination from therapy, or therapist rating of client change. In contrast, reduction in self-concealment uniquely predicted reduction of all distress measures even after accounting for gender, intake distress and therapy duration. Post-hoc analyses revealed that self-concealment reduction also predicted a clinically significant reduction in global distress. This study's findings serve as a preliminary step in understanding the relationship between self-concealment, psychological distress, and psychotherapy outcome.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .W55. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-07, Section: B, page: 3734. Adviser: James Porter. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.