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Why Do Some Psychotherapy Clients Get Better Than Others?

Tracy D Eells


This commentary explores reasons why one client’s outcome was better than the other’s in two comparative case studies: the cases of "Maria" and "Andrea,” involving panic disorder (Ciuca, Berger, & Miclea, 2017); and the cases of "Daydreamer" and "Night Owl," involving social anxiety (Schulz, Vincent, & Berger, 2017). Findings suggest that both specific and common factors may explain the difference. Specific factors include the extent to which exteroceptive exposure was implemented and avoidant behaviors were relaxed. Common factors that may explain the difference in outcome include acceptance of the treatment model, number of success
experiences, perceived self-efficacy, and the logical link between the client’s explanation of problems and the treatment offered.

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