The influence of the patient‟s affect consciousness on the early treatment process
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Several predictors of the quality of the therapeutic relationship have been studied, but the influence of patient‟s affect consciousness has not sufficiently analyzed. In this study, the relationship between the patient‟s affect consciousness and her experiences of the early therapeutic relationship was analysed. Affect consciousness was understood to imply awareness and tolerance of one‟s own and others‟ affective reactions and consciousness about the verbal and non-verbal expression of one‟s own and others‟ affects. Fifty-three female patients and 32 therapists took part in the study. Thirty-five patients had eating disorders, eight patients had relational problems and ten patients had stress related problems. It was hypothesized that feelings towards the therapist would be more influenced by the patient‟s affect consciousness than the alliance. The results showed that the patients‟ affect consciousness, especially consciousness about shame and fear, had significant associations with the patients‟ positive feelings towards the therapist at the three first sessions. A regression analysis indicated that warm and positive feelings towards the therapist were accounted for by the patient‟s consciousness about his or her own affects, even when previous alliance ratings were controlled for. Cold feelings at the third session, on the other hand, were associated with the patient‟s previous alliance ratings but not with the patient‟s affect consciousness. The results suggest that the patient‟s affect consciousness has importance for positive feelings towards the therapist, but negative feelings are primarily influenced by previous problems in the alliance. It would probably enhance the treatment process to work with the patients‟ affect consciousness.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-75523DiVA: diva2:507754