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Research Article

The Influence of the Therapeutic Frame of Reference on the Evaluation of the First Sessions of Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study

Authors:

Chantal Van Audenhove ,

Tiensestraat 102 3000 Leuven, BE
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Hans Vertommen,

Tiensestraat 102 3000 Leuven, BE
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Walter Vandereycken

Tiensestraat 102 3000 Leuven, BE
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Abstract

The discrepancy between the therapist’s and the client’s frame of reference and the mutual acceptability of the frame of reference were manipulated to examine the respective effect of the two variables on the evaluation of the first sessions of treatment. According to Sherif and Hovland’s assimilation-contrast theory it was predicted that subjects in a condition with an acceptable frame of reference would have a more favorable psychotherapy process than subjects in a condition with an unacceptable frame of reference. It was also hypothesized that in the acceptable condition the frame of reference discrepancy would be positively related to the client’s and therapist’s evaluation of treatment, whereas in the unacceptable condition the relation would be negative or non-existing. The hypotheses were tested in an analogue treatment situation on twenty-two undergraduate students, receiving two treatment sessions. Two treatment conditions were defined by the time-orientation of the therapist’s frame of reference. Though our hypotheses are not confirmed, supporting elements in our results are discussed.
How to Cite: Van Audenhove, C., Vertommen, H. and Vandereycken, W., 1989. The Influence of the Therapeutic Frame of Reference on the Evaluation of the First Sessions of Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study. Psychologica Belgica, 29(1), pp.63–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/pb.789
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Published on 01 Jan 1989.
Peer Reviewed

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