Therapist variables: Predictors of process in the treatment of alcohol and other drug problems

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Research indicates that alcohol and other drug problem (AOD) therapists who are in recovery yield comparable outcomes to therapists who are not in recovery. Might these generally equivalent outcomes be produced via different therapeutic processes? What factors other than, or in interaction with, therapist recovery status predict effective treatment process? This study sought to answer these questions. Therapists' well-being, emotional reactions toward clients, and recovery status were measured to determine if these variables predict specific therapy process variables, namely client perceptions of therapist empathy, the working alliance, session depth, and therapist credibility. A national survey found that therapists' emotional reactions to clients predicted client ratings of the working alliance and therapist empathy. Therapist well-being was not related significantly to any of the criterion variables, nor was recovery status or the interaction of the two. Implications for theory, research, clinical work, and training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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