Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 52 Issue 3 (September 1979), Pages 205-299

Preferences for behavioural, analytic and gestalt psychotherapy (pages 263-269)

This study investigated preferences for behavioural, analytic and gestalt psychotherapy among a sample of 40 SES class III and IV adult females and 67 college freshmen who had never been actual therapy patients. A scaled survey assessed general preference, preference given an imagined long‐standing depressive disorder, preference given an imagined specific phobia, and preference for the therapist‐patient relationship. Three audio tapes were designed, each describing one of the modalities. High inter‐rater reliability and agreement were determined by three independent judges. Results showed that young females had a general preference for gestalt therapy. Young and old females, but not young males, significantly preferred behavioural therapy for a specific phobia. Under forced‐choice conditions the group as a whole significantly preferred gestalt therapy. No differences were found for the relationship or preference given a depressive disorder. Preference was hypothesized as a cognitive structure with potential use in therapist‐client matching.

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