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TMatch: Client/Therapist Matching Based on

Client Preference for Types of Insight or Understanding

Short Restatement of Matching Recommendations

This matching criterion was part of an attempt to allow clients to express preferences for their type of therapy, based on something other than the name or description of the therapy type or system. The underlying assumption was that most therapists are eclectic, and take a little from several different systems. In this section, clients chose how they wanted their ideal therapist to understand the causes of problems, and therapists assessed themselves on the same list in terms of their preferred types of insight or understanding of causes of problems. The clients and therapists were then matched according to the similarity of their answers.

Client Assessments

Clients put a list of seven possible types of insight or ways of understanding problems in order of their preference.

Therapist Assessments

Therapists put the same list into order of their usual amount of emphasis.

Future Use for Matching

Results of Study

These questionnaires did produce useful matching, although the exact questions need some improvement. However, a better solution than trying to improve this questionnaire would be to switch to a method of differentiating therapy developed and tested by other researchers, which wasn't available when TMatch was created (see below).

The Next Step for Matching on this Criterion

When this project was started, there was no existing useful and validated method of differentiating therapists according to their relative emphases on methods from different therapy types or systems. Therefore, I attempted to create my own system. However, there are now two groups of researchers who have developed assessment systems in this area that could be translated into client-therapist matching criteria. One system is the Comprehensive Psychotherapeutic Interventions Rating Scale (CPIRS), created by Rutger Trijsburg and his associates. This instrument has been thoroughly tested by the Trijsburg group, and seems to be a valid and thorough method of differentiating therapists according to their relative emphases on different therapy styles. However, it would have to be modified to work for matching client preferences to therapists, since it is presently in language that, although easily understandable by therapists, would not be familiar to most clients. Another possibility is the Personal Style of the Therapist Questionnaire (PST-Q), developed by Hector Fernandez-Alverez and his associates in Argentina. This instrument assesses therapists on five factors related to how they practice. This is also a well validated instrument that might be useful in determining client preferences, but again would have to be rewritten into language clients with no therapy knowledge would understand. The ideal situation would be to have one of these groups willing to work with me to develop and test a client preference instrument.

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Trijsburg, R. W., Frederiks, G. C. F. J., Gorlee, M., Klouwer, E., den Hollander, A. M., & Duivenvoorden, H. J. (2002). Development of the comprehensive psychotherapeutic interventions rating scale (cpirs). Psychotherapy Research 12(3) 287-317.