Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Psychology (Masters)

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 54 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

James F Boswell

Committee Members

Drew A Anderson


common factors, early treatment, generalized anxiety disorder, interventions, psychotherapy process, Anxiety disorders, Anxiety

Subject Categories



A subset of psychotherapy clients experience symptom improvement very early in the treatment process, a phenomenon referred to as rapid response. Research shows a strong relationship between early treatment response and positive post-treatment status. Surprisingly, little research to date has intensively examined therapist behaviors and intervention use in the early phase of treatment. Conceptual work has debated the relative importance of model-specific technique use vs. common factors, yet more empirical work examining longitudinal relationships between these categories of process variables and outcome is needed. Using archived video/audio sessions from a larger (N = 70 completers) randomized control trial (RCT) comparing the efficacy of two treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), this study directly assessed therapist behaviors with a multidimensional observational measure, which contains subscales for 8 different therapeutic orientations, including common factors. From the larger trial sample, N = 20 high responders at post-treatment and N = 20 non-responders at post-treatment were randomly sampled from both treatment conditions. Descriptive statistics and multilevel modeling (MLM) were used to analyze the pattern and level of intervention use, and binary logistic regressions were used to predict treatment response status. Results showed that a range of therapeutic interventions were used across all sessions and segments, and treatment condition and segment type predicted level of use for all intervention types. Directive interventions were the only interventions to predict treatment response, such that increased use of directive interventions increased the odds of being a treatment non-responder. Clinical implications and limitations are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons