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Durham e-Theses
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Repertory grid technique in research on the psychological therapies

Winter, David Anthony (1979) Repertory grid technique in research on the psychological therapies. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



It is contended that research on the psychological therapies requires a measuring instrument sensitive to the specificity of the variables and the individuality of the clients under study. Repertory grid technique is considered to fulfil these requirements, and the study concerns itself largely with the validity and usefulness of this instrument in such research. Major hypotheses are that: grid measures are meaningfully related to independent measures; meaningful differences obtain between clients clinically assigned to group psychotherapy and those assigned to behaviour therapy; and between characteristics predictive of response to these two therapies; individualised predictions of therapeutic outcome are more successful than general predictions. The validity of various non-grid measures is also examined, as is the relative ease of change on all measures during therapy. The hypotheses are tested by the pre-treatment assessment of 64 neurotic out-patients, and the serial re-assessment of 20 of those receiving group psychotherapy and 20 receiving behaviour therapy. Support is provided for all the major hypotheses. Certain grid indices of maladjustment are found to be meaningfully interrelated and associated with independent measures, and expected relation- ships are observed between non-grid measures. Meaningful differences between group and behaviour therapy clients, and between characteristics predictive of response to the two therapies, are found in construing and on non-grid measures. These results support Caine's model of a relationship between adjustment strategies, treatment expectancies, symptoms, and therapeutic response, and also suggest the importance of content of construing in deter- mining the latter. More individualised than general grid predictions of therapeutic change are confirmed, and this is not a function of a general reduction in extremity of construing. Evidence is also provided that therapeutic change is multidimensional, with greater ease of change at the symptom level. Implications for treatment selection, outcome criteria, therapeutic strategies, and further research are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1979
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:28

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