Personality Assessment and Psychotherapy Preferences: Congruence Between Client Personality and Therapist Personality Preferences

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Consideration of client preferences has been emphasized as important to therapeutic outcomes, such as treatment engagement and retention. Although studies have investigated several client and therapist characteristics associated with client preferences, few have considered whether people have preferences regarding a potential therapist’s personality. The current study extended prior research on client preferences by examining the influence of participants’ Big Five personality traits on preferences for therapist personality characteristics utilizing latent profile analysis. We expected congruence between client personality traits and preferred psychotherapist personality traits. In both undergraduate and community samples, results indicated that participants generally prefer a psychotherapist with personality characteristics similar to their own. Our findings establish the presence of preferences based on personality factors and have implications for future research directions and the role of personality assessment in routine clinical practice.

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Journal of Personality Assessment

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