Date of Conferral





Human Services


Dr. George Ayers


Past research has recommended that clinical mental health (CMHC) administrators employ a relational focus to their work, but little evidence exists that such a relational focus is actually being utilized. Guided by Rogers' principles of client-centered therapy, this study examined whether CMHC administrators possessed the knowledge and attitudes to utilize the recommendation of relational based therapy and whether implementation in the CMHC was feasible. A qualitative multiple case study design was utilized to collect personal interviews with 12 CMHC administrators who could discuss Norcross and Wampold's single recommendation about therapeutic relationships. Results were triangulated with the guide for CMHC financing, namely Rule 132, as provided by the administrators. Thematic content analysis of the data revealed that administrators were knowledgeable and in favor of the recommendation where funding could be provided. However, the administrators considered implementation unreasonable because of regulations, low financing of CMHC services primarily through Medicaid, burdensome paperwork requirements, and limited staff qualifications. Understanding these answers from CMHC administrators within the context and limitations of the CMHC should impress upon lawmakers the need for adequate financing of resources to implement the recommendation, which could result in promoting social change in the delivery of services for mental health.