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The relationship between expected engagement and talking therapy outcome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Phillippa Harrison, Gillian E. Hardy, Michael Barkham

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-501
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


King's Authors


The aim of the study was to investigate whether client-reported expected engagement with therapy predicted therapy outcome. It was hypothesised that higher expected engagement with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or person-centred experiential therapy (PCET) would predict more symptomatic improvement following therapy and higher likelihood of therapy completion. The Sheffield Expected Engagement with Therapy Scale (ShEETS) was administered to 96 clients at pre-therapy assessment with all meeting a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression with 53 receiving CBT and 43 receiving PCET. Higher expected engagement predicted more symptomatic improvement in CBT but not PCET. Expected engagement only predicted improvement in CBT when clients rated the credibility of CBT as low or moderate. Expected engagement did not predict therapy completion in either therapy. Assessment of expected engagement could be a useful tool in prediction of symptomatic improvement in CBT.

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