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Research on client experiences of therapy : introduction to the special section

Elliott, Robert (2008) Research on client experiences of therapy : introduction to the special section. Psychotherapy Research, 18 (3). pp. 239-242. ISSN 1050-3307

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Why study client therapy experiences? Examination of client experiences is central to advancing theoretical understandings of mediational processes in therapy (i.e., how therapeutic processes get translated into postsession and posttreatment change); this, in turn, has implications for predicting outcome. Furthermore, understanding the potential range and forms of client experience is an important component of therapeutic skill and can be assumed to lead to greater understanding of particular clients and to more effective interventions. Specifically, knowledge about key overlooked aspects of client in-session experience (especially regarding covert processes such as hidden dissatisfaction or conscious avoidance) can be used to help therapists work more effectively with their clients.