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STATE ANXIETY, CLIENT EVALUATION AND THERAPEUTIC EFFECTIVENESS OF HIGH AND LOW TRAIT ANXIETY THERAPISTS DURING A VIDEO-TAPED SIMULATION OF AN INTAKE INTERVIEW WITH A SUICIDAL CLIENT

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posted on 2023-08-05, 07:26 authored by Barbara Marita Keefe

In the present study, therapists' reactions to suicidal clients were systematically investigated by presenting videotapes of a suicidal and nonsuicidal actress/client to subjects. The subjects were 80 psychotherapists who had a mean of 5.8 years of psychotherapy experience. During the experiment, the subjects were instructed to verbally respond to the videotape at designated intervals and, after the videotape was over, the subjects were instructed to rate their state anxiety and attitudes toward the actress/client. The independent variables of interest were a therapist variable, trait anxiety (the low or high tendency for a person to feel personally threatened), and a client variable, suicidality (the presence or absence of a suicidal communication on the videotape). The dependent variables were (1) the subjects' reported state anxiety, (2) the subjects' evaluation of the actress/client, (3) the effectiveness of the subjects' verbal responses. The subjects who heard the suicidal communication were expected to (1) report more state anxiety, (2) report more negative client evaluation, (3) make less verbal responses than the subjects who did not hear the suicidal communication. In addition, of the subjects who heard the suicidal communication, those who were assessed as high trait anxious were expected to (1) report more state anxiety, (2) report more negative client evaluations, (3) make less effective verbal responses than those subjects assessed as low trait anxious. None of the hypotheses was supported by the data. However, in the suicidal condition, female subjects were found to report more state anxiety than male subjects, and male subjects reported more state anxiety in the nonsuicidal than the suicidal condition. Several reasons are discussed for the lack of significant findings.

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American University

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English

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Ph.D. American University 1980.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:902

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application/pdf

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