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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) [grant 178/07] to Hadas Wiseman and Orya Tishby.
- client attachment
- client attachment to therapist
- client-therapist matching
- psychodynamic psychotherapy
- therapeutic relationship
- therapist attachment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology