This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Client Symptom Distress, Stage of Change, and the Therapeutic Alliance in Couple Therapy




Porter, Robert

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The purpose of this thesis was to examine how the relationship between client symptom distress and the therapeutic alliance was mediated by client stage of change in couple therapy. Sample for this study was composed of couples attending therapy at a marriage and family therapy training clinic at a southeastern university. No mediating relationship was found for males or females. A significant relationship was found for males between the Precontemplation stage and the alliance. Furthermore, males were found to enter couple therapy at higher levels of Precontemplation than females, while females entered couple therapy at higher levels of Motivation. Additionally, a significant negative relationship found between symptom distress and the alliance for males. No predictors were significantly related to the alliance for females.