Date of Conferral







Rodney Ford


There are contrasting views from Freudian, humanistic, and feminist theorists regarding whether therapist self-disclosure (TSD) affects the relationship between the therapeutic alliance (TA) and dropout of substance abuse treatment by males. However, there is a paucity of research regarding these topics yet therapists need clear empirical support for the use of TSD in enhancing the TA such that dropout can be averted. This study investigated whether or not TSD moderated the relationship between perceived TA and dropout expectancy. The research participants were 132 men attending residential substance abuse treatment. Four groups of men were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 experimental conditions. One of 2 statements was read to the participants that described the TA as weak or strong. After reading 1 of these statements, participants watched 1 of 2 DVDs (7 minutes each). The DVDs depicted 2 males role-playing an intake session. One DVD included TSD and the TSD was edited out of the other DVD. After watching the DVD, participants responded to the question of whether or not they would continue treatment with the depicted therapist. Results from hierarchical logistic regression indicated that weak TA was a good predictor of dropout expectancy. TSD did not significantly affect research participants' opinions regarding whether or not they would continue treatment with the depicted therapist. Therefore, results from the present study do not support views that TSD should be used or avoided. This study can contribute to positive social change by reinforcing an important process (building a strong therapeutic alliance) that contributes to treatment completion. People who complete substance abuse treatment are more likely to manage or abstain from their addictions and to become fully functioning and positively contributing members of society than those that dropout.