Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Robert Neimeyer

Committee Member

Jeffrey Berman

Committee Member

James Murphy


Subjective client agency, defined as client expectations for actively influencing therapy process and outcome, is hypothesized to contribute to psychotherapy process and outcome. Previous work has linked higher degrees of subjective client agency to more positive client ratings of the therapeutic working alliance, while results for outcome studies are mostly non-significant. The current project extended the limited body of research in this area by (a) examining associations for subjective client agency at the outset of group therapy with ratings of group process, therapeutic alliance and treatment outcome for 84 clients at a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic, and (b) attempting to manipulate subjective client agency via a pre-therapy orientation. Internal locus of control for therapy was associated with positive group process ratings. Expectations for taking verbal initiative were associated with greater client-rated agreement on therapeutic goals. However, neither of these operational definitions of SCA was significantly related to therapist-rated alliance or to symptom change in the first eight weeks of group therapy. Moreover, two distinct versions of the pre-therapy orientation failedto alter veterans' expectations for taking an active role in treatment. Implications for further research are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.