Relationship between psychotherapists' theoretical orientation and interpersonal style

Mary Jill Begis (1990)

The general hypothesis of this exploratory research was that there would be a significant relationship between therapists' interpersonal style as measured by the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) and selection of theoretical orientation. A major value of research that focuses on the personal style of therapists and their choice of theories is that one may bring further understanding to the process of the psychotherapies. The Statements of Theoretical Orientation (SOTO) questionnaire was developed by this investigator as a research tool to assess theoretical orientation. The development of this measure represents the primary contribution of this research. Results of a factor analytic procedure applied to the questionnaire attest to both the content and construct validity of the questionnaire as an appropriate measure to assess for theoretical orientation. The SOTO was constructed to tap three theoretical frameworks: (1) psychodynamic; (2) cognitive/interpersonal; and (3) systemic. The Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB), a state x trait x situation nosology was used for the measurement of interpersonal style. Results of the SASB questionnaire were analyzed through the computerized version of INTREX, program FIG. Results of empirical testing using both an analysis of variance procedure and a correlational procedure did not support the hypotheses of this study. In short, there is no confirmatory evidence to support the notion that there is a relationship between therapeutic orientation and interpersonal style as measured by the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). Explanatory alternatives are considered.