The Relationship Between Therapist Common Factor Behaviors and Client Evaluations of Couple Therapy Sessions

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There is an insufficient amount of research on therapist common factor behaviors during therapy sessions that contribute to the process of therapeutic change in couple and family therapy. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between therapists’ common factor behaviors during a couple therapy session and clients’ evaluations of that session. The sample was 40 couples presenting with mild to moderate psychological and physical partner aggression who received ten therapy sessions at a university-based clinic. A set of Pearson product-moment correlations were conducted and revealed that only the degree of therapist collaboration behavior was significantly associated with female partners’ positive evaluations of the session; statistical trend for males. Overall, male and female ratings of session helpfulness were positively correlated. The possible explanations for the lack of relationships between other therapist behaviors and session evaluations are discussed.