The Emotional Content of Client Disclosures and Session Impact: An Analogue Study

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The authors examined the relation between a client's disclosure of emotional material in an analogue psychotherapy session and the depth and smoothness of that session. Transcripts of 33 prepracticum psychotherapy sessions (3 sessions each from 11 volunteer clients) were coded for client disclosures, and the text of these disclosures was subjected to a computer analysis to count the number of positive and negative emotion words. While controlling for client functioning, sessions in which clients disclosed more and used more positive-emotion words in their disclosures were rated as having more depth. Clients' use of emotion in their disclosures was not related to session smoothness. Findings from this study suggest aspects of client disclosure that are associated with deeper sessions.


This article was originally published as Kahn, J. H., Vogel, D. L., Schneider, W. J., Barr, L. K., & Herrell, K. (2008). The emotional content of client disclosures and session impact: An analogue study. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Training, and Practice, 45(4), 539–545.