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This study examined therapist responses to distressed clients as they occurred moment-by-moment within single sessions of psychotherapy. Researchers examined the videotaped sessions of a sample of 26 therapist-client dyads. Results indicated the following: (i) Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed two clusters of therapist responding, labeled Reflection-focused and Emotional Experience-focused. Clients treated by an Emotional Experience-focused therapist were more likely to experience good outcome; (ii) Good outcome was more likely to be preceded by more frequent therapist intervention shifts, and; (iii) Emotional variability did not mediate the relationship between depth of therapist experiential focus and outcome. However, further analyses revealed that the presence of productive emotions (as described by Pascual-Leone & Greenberg, 2007) did mediate the relationship between depth of therapist experiential focus and outcome. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.
Singh, Terence, "Responding to distressed clients: Therapist influence on client emotional processing" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8224.