ERIC Number: ED434288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Understanding and Feeling Understood as a Function of Time in Therapy.
Lichtenberg, James W.; Hummel, Thomas J.
This study used Laing et al.'s (1966) Interpersonal Perception Method to examine the relationship between the length of the therapy relationship (number of sessions), therapists' understanding of their clients' views, and clients' perceptions of being understood by their therapists with respect to the working alliance (goals, tasks, bond), session quality (depth, smoothness), and therapist social influence attributes (attractiveness, expertness, trustworthiness). The difference between therapists' level of understanding and clients' feeling of being understood (the size of this difference and its sign indicating the "realism" of the participants' interpersonal perspectives) are examined. Results do not support a relationship between time in therapy and an increase in clients' sense of feeling understood by their therapists or therapists' actual understanding of their clients on the dimensions studied. Results do indicate that clients consistently overestimate their therapists' level of understanding; that is, they feel more understood than they actually are. (Contains 1 figure, 4 tables, and 30 references.) (Author/MKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. General Research Fund.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (107th, Boston, MA, August 20-24, 1999).