Which of the following accounts for the least amount of variance in most psychotherapy-outcome research?
a. specific treatment techinques
b. client factor
c. therapist factors
d. none of the above account for equal amounts of variance
The answer to this question is that all factors account for equal amounts of variance. There are several reasons why:
The client-clinician-intervention is a tripartite team. The client's personality traits are those reactions and behaviors that come automatically from the client in order to interact with his or her own environment. The therapist's job is not to fix the client's issues, but to mirror the client's behaviors so that the latter can reflect upon his or her actions and make connections. Hence, the therapist's own personality will affect the relationship between the relationship between the client and the clinician; If the clinician is not attuned nor in full understanding of the client (i.e. such as in cases when therapists are assigned against their will to deal with clients that they cannot connect with) the results of ANY intervention will become null.
Enter the intervention, the specific treatment technique. Again, if a therapist is inexperienced or not knowledgeable enough, a technique that is used to enforce or extinguish a behavior may bring about adverse results. In the case of conditioning, for example operant conditioning, it is imperative that specific repetitions come into play in order to create a new behavior, or extinguish an old one. If the intervening factors are not worked with the way that they are supposed to, again, adverse reactions may result in making the client's situation worse than when it began.
What all this means is that all three are equally important and weight heavily in the outcome of an intervention.