Effect of client feedback on couple psychotherapy outcomes

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2010 Dec;47(4):616-30. doi: 10.1037/a0021182.


Using outcome data to monitor the progress of treatment and the therapeutic alliance, also known as "client feedback" or "patient-focused research," has yielded impressive results in individual psychotherapy. Client feedback has demonstrated reductions in premature terminations and improved psychotherapy outcomes. However, little research has been conducted using this paradigm with couples receiving therapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the effectiveness of client feedback would extend to couple therapy. Results from a randomized couple clinical trial conducted in a naturalistic setting indicated that couples in a client feedback condition demonstrated statistically significantly more improvement compared with couples receiving treatment as usual and that improvement occurred more rapidly. Also, 4 times as many couples in the feedback condition reported clinically significant change by the end of treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family Conflict / psychology*
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / education
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Dropouts / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Research Report
  • Young Adult