ERIC Number: ED239181
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Consequences of Psychotherapy Clients' Mental Health Ideology.
Milling, Len; Kirsch, Irving
Current theoretical approaches to understanding emotional difficulties are dominated by the medical model of mental illness, which assumes that emotional dysfunction can be viewed the same way as physical dysfunction. To examine the relationship between psychotherapy clients' beliefs about the medical model of psychotherapy and their behavior during treatment, 39 clients at a student mental health service were administered a measure of acceptance of the medical model at the outset of psychotherapy, and indicated their expectancies for therapeutic improvement. Eight weeks later or at termination, which ever came first, therapists rated their clients' behavior. Results showed that, as predicted, psychotherapy clients who were more accepting of the medical model reported higher initial expectancies for therapeutic gain, controlling for the value of making those gains, and terminated prematurely from treatment more often. Paradoxically, they were rated by their therapists as making more active attempts to address their problems both in and outside of treatment sessions. Clients who were more accepting of a responsibility/control orientation were judged as making less active attempts to address their emotional problems and as more dependent on their therapists; some discussion is given to this unexpected observation. The findings suggest that clinicians need to be sensitive to their patients' mental health ideology. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Client Behavior; Medical Model; Treatment Outcomes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).