This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of the Impact of Client Excuses on Therapist Emotional Reactions and Expectancy for Client Change




Conroy, Anne

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Using an analogue structure, this study examined the impact of client excuses on a therapist’s emotional reactions, the therapist’s prognostic impression for therapy, and the level of smoothness and depth in the session. Hypothetical client scenarios involving clients giving, or not giving, excuses were generated. A total of 261 therapists-in-training were recruited from master’s-level and doctoral training programs. One-way ANOVAs were utilized to compare three conditions (controllable excuse, uncontrollable excuse, and no-excuse) on the aforementioned outcome variables. Results indicated that no significant differences existed between the three conditions on any of the outcome variables. Limitations and areas for future research are discussed.