Differential Treatment Outcomes of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Psychotherapy

Project Title: Differential Treatment Outcomes of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Psychotherapy

Project Lead: Andrew Dimmick, M.S.

UNT IRB#: IRB-20-660

Study Status: Completed

Study Description: Therapeutic alliance has been consistently demonstrated as a robust predictor of treatment outcomes. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that racial and ethnic minority (REM) clients typically form weaker therapeutic alliances in treatment and are at higher risk of attrition from treatment. Mr. Dimmick‚Äôs study sought to quantify differences in therapeutic alliance ratings among REM and non-Hispanic White clients, investigate the association between client demographics and treatment dropout, and explore the association of psychotherapist competence to the therapeutic alliance and client treatment outcomes. Findings from this study indicate that African American/Black clients reported significantly more distress at the end of treatment than non-Hispanic White clients. Further, African American/Black clients experienced more ruptures in the therapeutic alliance with their treating clinician. Findings underscore the importance of foundational and functional competencies among psychotherapists as key to client outcomes. Findings from this study indicate that increasing psychotherapist competence in the specific areas of professionalism and interpersonal skills are most salient to maintaining a working alliance in psychotherapy that leads to positive treatment outcomes among racial/ethnic minority clients.