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Gina Di Malta: Client Perspectives on Preferences in Psychotherapy: A Consensual Qualitative Research

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This talk was recorded and presented for the launch of the OPRC, Opening Psychology for Changing Times in Summer 2021.

In recent years, the international psychotherapy field has seen an increasing recognition of the role that client preferences play in the psychotherapy decision-making process. Research shows that preference accommodation is associated with reduced dropout and improved outcome. Yet, processes by which this happens — and how preference accommodation can be best applied in clinical practice—have not been established. The aim of this research is to conduct the first in-depth, qualitative investigation into client experiences of, and perspectives on, preferences in therapy. Through this research, we want to develop guidelines for working with client preferences to support counselling and psychologist practitioners.

We asked Dr Gina Di Malta about her talk after the OPRC launch event. Her answers can be viewed in this OU Psychology & Counselling blog.

Key Readings:

Windle, E., Tee, H., Sabitova, A., Jovanovic, N., Priebe, S., & Carr, C. (2020). Association of patient treatment preference with dropout and clinical outcomes in adult psychosocial mental health interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA psychiatry, 77(3), 294-302.

McPherson, S., & Beresford, P. (2019). Semantics of patient choice: how the UK national guideline for depression silences patients. Disability & Society, 34(3), 491-497.

Swift, J. K., Callahan, J. L., Cooper, M., & Parkin, S. R. (2018). The impact of accommodating client preference in psychotherapy: A meta‐analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74(11), 1924-1937.