Informed Consent

The purpose of this study is to investigate what aspects of therapists contribute to a better therapeutic relationship, and thus more effective treatment. Specifically, I am looking at therapist mindfulness, emotional awareness, and psychological mindedness and its impact on the therapeutic relationship. The results of this study might provide more clarity as to what therapist factors help form and facilitate the therapeutic relationship with their clients, and thus may provide insight towards the training and supervision of therapists in the field to become better practitioners. This study is being conducted to fulfill the requirements for my dissertation as a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Adler University.  

Procedures 

If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires. First, I will provide you with a demographics questionnaire that will ask you about your age, theoretical orientation, and if you are currently seeing clients. If you are not a therapist seeing at least one client who you have seen for at least 4 sessions, you are not eligible to participate in the study. You also will not be able to participate in the drawing for one of the four $20 Amazon gift cards. If you are ineligible, simply close the webpage, and thank you for your interest in participating in this study.

After completion of the demographic form, you will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. Depending on the group you have been randomly assigned to, the questionnaire set you receive may focus on asking you questions regarding mindfulness, psychological mindedness, or emotional awareness. Each series of questionnaires may ask you to reflect on your experiences of yourself, others, and your relationship your clients. Questions may either be in multiple choice or free response format depending on the measure received. The duration of these questionnaires may take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.

Benefits

You may indirectly benefit by contributing to the field’s knowledge of what contributes to a strong therapeutic relationship, and thus more effective psychotherapy. The results of this study could help clinicians better understand what about themselves helps create a strong therapeutic relationship, and could provide insights to their personal assets and liabilities. The results of this study may have implications towards aspects of their training or personal growth that they can integrate into their practice in order to work more effectively with their clients. You might also directly benefit from the study, as questionnaires ask you to reflect on yourself and your relationship with your clients. Therefore, it is possible that you might gain new insights about your experiences that could benefit you personally or in your professional work.

Risks

Due to the nature of the study and the questionnaires used, there appears to be mild risk for participants. Although it is unlikely that there are any severe risks, some questionnaires ask participants to reflect on themselves and their own inner experiences in a variety of contexts, and therefore they may be reminded of or experience some discomfort. In reflection on your relationships with your client/s, you may be reminded of difficulty or emotional distress that you have had with one of your clients. However, these experiences are likely to cause only minimal discomfort if any at all. If you feel that during the course of the online questionnaires that you do not wish to continue, or that you do not want to answer certain questions, you are free to do so without any consequence. If at any point you experience significant distress, I will work with you to find additional support referrals. 

Confidentiality 

If you choose to participate in this study, no identifying information will be collected, such as your name, contact information, email, or computer’s IP address. Your email address is only used for the purpose of contacting you so that you have the opportunity to participate in the study and for sending gift cards if you enter the raffle. This information will be kept in a password protected file and deleted from my computer as soon as the gift cards are delivered. All the data from this study will be presented as aggregate results. The data will be downloaded from the online questionnaires into a password-protected spreadsheet on my password-protected laptop. The laptop is password protected and stored in my locked residence. All electronic data and surveys will be kept secure for a period of 7 years in accordance with APA guidelines for the retention of data. After this time, the electronic files will be deleted from the laptop. 

Your Rights as a Participant and Withdrawal from Study

There is no cost to you for participating in the study. Your responses are kept confidential. Your participation is completely voluntary and you may choose to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence. Your participation or decision not to participate is confidential and no one will know of your decision.

After you complete the questionnaires, you will have the option to enter your e-mail address for a chance to win one of five $20 Amazon gift cards.

If you have any questions about the study, you may contact Andy Woodall at dwoodall@my.adler.edu or my dissertation chair Dr. Alberto Varona  (avarona@adler.edu). Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant should be directed to the Adler University Institutional Review Board irb@adler.edu, or IRB chair members Dr. Peter Ji (pji@adler.edu, 312-662-4354) and Lyuba Bobova, (lbobova@adler.edu, 312-662-4366).

IRB protocol number for this study is 17-091

*1)
Please indicate here if you wish to consent to participate. If you do not wish to participate, simply close your browser to exit the online survey. 

Continue ONLY when finished. You will be unable to return or change your answers.