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Psychother Res. 2014;24(3):392-406. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2014.892646. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Client attachment, attachment to the therapist and client-therapist attachment match: how do they relate to change in psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Author information

1
a Counseling and Human Development , University of Haifa , Haifa , Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the associations between client attachment, client attachment to the therapist, and symptom change, as well as the effects of client-therapist attachment match on outcome. Clients (n = 67) and their therapists (n = 27) completed the ECR to assess attachment.

METHOD:

Clients completed also the Client Attachment to Therapist scale three times (early, middle, and late sessions) and the OQ-45 at intake and four times over the course of a year of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

RESULTS:

Clients characterized by avoidant attachment and by avoidant attachment to their therapist showed the least improvement. A low-avoidant client-therapist attachment match led to a greater decrease in symptom distress than when a low-avoidant therapist treated a high-avoidant client.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest the importance of considering client-therapist attachment matching and the need to pay attention to the special challenges involved in treating avoidant clients in order to facilitate progress in psychotherapy.

PMID:
24646021
DOI:
10.1080/10503307.2014.892646
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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