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Non-Specific Hypothesis

 

Disciplines > Counselling > Non-Specific Hypothesis

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The non-specific hypothesis suggests that a significant contribution to the success of any specific therapeutic method comes from a range of factors that are common to all approaches.

Discussion

Whilst there are many different schools of thought and disciplinary approaches to counseling and therapy, studies of effectiveness generally show a similar rate of success.

Grencavage and Norcross (1990) found four broad cateories of non-specific factors:

  1. Client characteristics
  2. Therapist qualities
  3. Change processes
  4. Treatment methods

In reviewing professional opinion, they found greatest agreement on:

  • The therapeutic alliance (56%)
  • The opportunity for catharsis (38%)
  • Acquisition and practice of new behaviors (32%)
  • Positive client expectations (26%)
  • Therapist qualities (24%)
  • Provision of rationale (24%)

Llewellyn and Hume (1979) surveyed clients and found that they also rated non-specific factors as most significant in their success.

See also

Counseling Success Factors

 

Grencavage, L.M. and Norcross, J.C. (1990). What are the commonalities among the therapeutic factors? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 21, 372-378.

Llewelyn, F. and Hume, W. (1979). Patient's view of therapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology. 52, 29–35.

 

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