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He concluded that the limited research available at the time suggested that gender is a weak contributor to the outcome of therapy. [5] concluded that the relationship between therapist sex and outcome has been even less consistent in contemporary research when compared to studies of earlier decades.However, he encouraged further examination of the influence of gender matching in therapy as, “its obvious relation to sex-role expectations and stereotypes in clinical settings makes it an important variable for empirical reexamination” (p. Reviews of the research that has been conducted since that decade continue to echo earlier conclusions – that the effects of gender matching on therapy outcome are weak at best. Bowman [4] reviewed the literature up to that point and concluded that “the view that therapist sex is a poor predictor of outcome in therapy is the most conservative and probably the most sensible position” (p. Although the majority of studies point to the lack of effect of gender matching on therapy outcomes, therapists continue to have an array of clinical opinions, of varying intensity regarding the utility and importance of gender matching.The present study examined the impact of therapist and client gender, and gender matching on therapy outcome and attendance variables.

Clinical significance analysis indicates that female clients were more likely to start treatment in the clinical range and also end treatment in the “improved” category.This effect held for clients classified as Asian American or White but not for the other ethnic groups.Gender matched clients were also more likely to have greater treatment length.For example, Whaley assessed the effects of gender matching in a sample of 124 African-American male participants presenting with paranoia in the context of “severe mental illness.” Participants were interviewed by a race matched male or female therapist for an intake interview – those in the gender matched condition reported less paranoid symptoms, but more cultural mistrust.In another study, exploring response to drug abuse treatment - female clients, Latino clients, and older clients who were gender matched with therapists had slightly higher rates of abstinence when compared to gender-mismatched pairings [13].The study was designed to address the following three questions: Does therapy outcome differ based on the either the gender of the client, the gender of the therapist, or the gender match between the client and the therapist?Does the duration of therapy (total number of sessions) differ based on the gender of the client, the gender of the therapist or the gender match between the client and the therapist?In conclusion, there appears to be very limited contemporary or historical research that supports the notion that positive outcome in therapy is enhanced by gender matching.Where relationships are observed in gender matching research they primarily relate to indexes of likelihood of dropout, or duration of therapy.Significant associations were found between client gender, therapist gender, and gender match on the total number of sessions attended by clients with females receiving more sessions.Keywords: Psychotherapy outcome; Psychotherapy and gender; Gender effects; Attrition; OQ-45; Treatment effects; Clinically significant change One of the earliest reviews of the effects of client-therapist gender matching on therapy outcomes was conducted by Berzins [1].


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