Client-therapist intimacy: Responses of psychotherapy clients to a consumer-oriented brochure

Ethics and Behavior 6 (1):17 – 28 (1996)
Abstract
Psychotherapy clients read two consumer-oriented brochures: a general brochure on psychology and a brochure on the topic of client-therapist intimacy. Half of the participants read the general brochure first and the brochure on client-therapist intimacy second, and half the participants did the reverse. Participants reported favorable reactions to the brochures, indicating they thought both should be made available to psychotherapy clients; that neither were too long, too sensitive, or too difficult to read; and that the brochures should be made available early during the therapeutic process. After reading the client-therapist intimacy brochure, participants also showed some changes in Likert-type scores measuring attitudes regarding intimate contact between clients and therapists. Although participants were more negative about issues of sexual misconduct after reading the client-therapist intimacy brochure, they did not indicate a decrease in trust of therapists, nor did they indicate a greater likelihood of filing a false complaint. We concluded that therapists' reservations about presenting clients with factual information regarding therapist sexual exploitation of clients are not empirically founded.
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