British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 24 Issue 4 (November 1985), Pages 225-304

Therapist response modes in prescriptive vs. exploratory psychotherapy (pages 235-245)

Therapists' use of verbal response modes was compared in two forms of psychotherapy offered to 27 clients in a crossover design, where each client saw the same therapist throughout both treatments. This design isolated effects due to treatment techniques, specified in manuals followed by therapists, from those due to therapist or client differences. As predicted, therapists used more interpretation and exploration in an exploratory, relationship‐oriented therapy, and asked more closed and open questions, and gave more general advisements and information, during a prescriptive, cognitive/behavioural therapy. The magnitude of the differences obtained ranged from a twofold to a sixfold difference in the percentages of each response mode offered in the two treatments. Also as predicted, therapists were more verbally active in the prescriptive therapy. These findings confirm previous research showing large differences in therapist contributions to different types of psychotherapy, demonstrating that these are not attributable to personal characteristics of therapists or clients.

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