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, 24 (3), 392-406

Client Attachment, Attachment to the Therapist and Client-Therapist Attachment Match: How Do They Relate to Change in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

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Client Attachment, Attachment to the Therapist and Client-Therapist Attachment Match: How Do They Relate to Change in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

Hadas Wiseman et al. Psychother Res.

Abstract

Objective: We examined the associations between client attachment, client attachment to the therapist, and symptom change, as well as the effects of client-therapist attachment match on outcome. Clients (n = 67) and their therapists (n = 27) completed the ECR to assess attachment.

Method: Clients completed also the Client Attachment to Therapist scale three times (early, middle, and late sessions) and the OQ-45 at intake and four times over the course of a year of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Results: Clients characterized by avoidant attachment and by avoidant attachment to their therapist showed the least improvement. A low-avoidant client-therapist attachment match led to a greater decrease in symptom distress than when a low-avoidant therapist treated a high-avoidant client.

Conclusions: These findings suggest the importance of considering client-therapist attachment matching and the need to pay attention to the special challenges involved in treating avoidant clients in order to facilitate progress in psychotherapy.

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