Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Theodore Bartholomew

Reader 2

Jennifer Groscup

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©2020 Griffin C Campbell


Identity matching between therapists and clients has been shown to affect the processes and the outcomes of psychotherapy. A quasi-experimental study will be conducted in which patients (n=300) in identity matched or identity mismatched therapeutic pairs will report their perception of the therapeutic alliance and their therapists’ engagement with multicultural orientation framework (MCO) variables. This study is expected to find that matching by gender, matching by race, and matching by age are all significantly correlated with participant ratings of the therapeutic alliance, such that matching predicts higher ratings of the therapeutic alliance across treatment. The results of this study will also show that client ratings of MCO variables will correlate positively with higher ratings of the therapeutic alliance. The results will also show that clients in matched therapeutic dyads will rate their therapeutic alliance higher across sessions compared to clients in mismatched therapeutic dyads. These results suggest that matching by identity characteristics including race, gender and age is a predictor of the quality of the relationship between therapist and client, and that this is a potential way to improve therapeutic treatment, especially for clients from historically marginalized identity groups.