This article is adapted, by special permission of Oxford University Press, from a chapter of the same title by the same authors in J.C. Norcross (Ed.), 2011, Psychotherapy relationships that work (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. The book project was cosponsored by the APA Division of Clinical Psychology and the APA Division of Psychotherapy.
Article first published online: 2 DEC 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Special Issue: ADAPTING PSYCHOTHERAPY TO THE INDIVIDUAL PATIENT
Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 184–192, February 2011
How to Cite
Constantino, M. J., Arnkoff, D. B., Glass, C. R., Ametrano, R. M. and Smith, J. Z. (2011), Expectations. J. Clin. Psychol., 67: 184–192. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20754
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 2 DEC 2010
- patient expectations;
- outcome expectations;
- treatment outcome;
- therapy relationship
Patients' expectations have long been considered a contributory factor to successful psychotherapy. Expectations come in different guises, with outcome expectations centered on prognostic beliefs about the consequences of engaging in treatment. In this article, we define outcome expectations and present assessment methods and clinical examples of outcome expectations. Our research review includes a comprehensive meta-analysis (N =8,016 patients across 46 independent samples) of the association between pretherapy or early-therapy outcome expectations and posttreatment outcomes. The overall weighted effect size was d=.24, p<.001, indicating a small but significant positive effect of outcome expectations on adaptive treatment outcomes. We also provide a narrative review of mediators of the expectation-outcome link and patient factors that relate to their outcome expectations. Finally, we discuss limitations of the research base and offer therapeutic practices based on our findings. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 67:184–192, 2011.