April 20, 2016
Eric M. Sauer, professor of counseling psychology, and colleagues recently presented a paper at the 2nd Annual World Conference, in Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The paper, "Examining changes in client attachment patterns in psychotherapy: A growth modeling study," described a recent clinical attachment study. In this study, Sauer and colleagues examined the impact of client attachment over the course of therapy. Unexpectedly, clients with any higher levels of attachment anxiety improved more rapidly than their less anxious peers. They also found that, as early as the 6th session of therapy, higher levels of client attachment avoidance interfered with the process of counseling. That is, there was evidence to suggest that they were experiencing their therapists as pressing them to be more engaged then they would like, and possibly even experiencing their therapist as being too distant.
Citation: Sauer, E. M., Rice, K.G., Roberts, K. E., Richardson, C. E. M. (2016, March). Examining changes in client attachment patterns in psychotherapy: A growth modeling study. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual World Conference on Personality, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.