Psychotherapists' outcomes with white and racial/ethnic minority clients: First, the good news

Jeffrey A. Hayes, Andrew A. McAleavey, Louis G. Castonguay, Benjamin D. Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to (a) investigate whether psychotherapists differ in their effectiveness with clients, (b) determine whether disparities exist within therapists' caseloads in their outcomes with White and racial and ethnic minority (REM) clients, (c) explore therapist factors that might contribute to observed therapist effects, and (d) identify whether treatment outcomes varied for REM and White clients. A sample of 3,825 clients seen by 251 therapists at 45 college counseling centers completed the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms at the beginning and end of individual psychotherapy. Therapists differed in their effectiveness at reducing general distress across clients, and evidence was found for disparities within therapists' caseloads in their effectiveness with REM and White clients. Effect sizes were small. Disparities within therapists' caseloads were not a function of any therapist variable that was studied. Therapy outcomes were similar for White and REM clients. Therapist multicultural competence can, and should, be considered in terms of measurable outcomes across client racial/ethnic groups. It is possible to identify multiculturally expert therapists who evidence competence with both REM and White clients and who might serve as models from whom the field could learn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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