Third-Party Payment and the Outcome of Psychotherapy


Theorists have long debated whether the efficacy of psychotherapy is enhanced when clients are required to pay for their treatment. The aim of the present experiment was to assess this issue in a naturally occurring clinical setting. Clients in the study were individuals who had sought psychotherapy from a low-cost treatment center. One group of clients paid the fees normally charged by the treatment center, whereas another randomly selected group did not pay because a grant was used to cover the cost of their therapy. Results failed to reveal any reliable difference in the outcomes of clients who had paid for treatment and those whose treatment had been subsidized. These findings suggest that the effectiveness of psychotherapy is not impaired when someone other than the client pays for the therapy. © 1987 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology