Clients' Perceptions of the Therapeutic Process: A Common Factors Approach


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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to explore the aspects of therapy as proposed by "common factors" literature (e.g., extratherapeutic change, hope and expectancy, therapy technique, and therapeutic relationship) by surveying the clients of a university based family therapy clinic. Data were used to provide information about what factors are therapeutically helpful according to the client's perspective. Surveys provided a quantitative and qualitative description of the client's therapeutic experience and were compared with those aspects of therapy found in the research.

Quantitative results indicate that therapeutic relationship, client motivation, factors outside of therapy, and hope and expectancy accounted for around 49% of the variance of clients' perception of change and about 73% of the variance of clients' perceptions of therapy helpfulness. Findings further suggest that the clients' level of hopefulness and expectancy for positive change is the most significant predictor for both client change and therapy helpfulness. Qualitative results indicate that the therapeutic relationship is considered by clients to be the most helpful aspect of their therapeutic experience.



Mixed Methods Study, Common Factors, Clients' Perceptions