People seek assistance or help of others when
they fail to resolve their own problems. Psychotherapy is one of the tools that
enhance clients to access their own capacities for growth (McFadzean, 2005). Alternative
reasons for seeking counseling may include “confusion because of an
overwhelming number of options, a need to make a choice among a few good
options, or a desire to confirm an already made choice” (p.392).
Psychotherapy outcomes can be influenced by
various factors such as therapy techniques, therapeutic alliance, therapist
variables, and client’s characteristics (Bhargava& Sriram; 2016; Lambert; 2013,
Sprenkle and Blow; 2004). Extra therapeutic change, placebo, and specific
technique are consistent predictor of treatment outcomes (Lambert, 2013). Bernal.et.al
(1998) suggest that symptom severity; alliance and number of therapy
sessions; and satisfaction from therapy are also associated with therapy
the other hand, Sprenkle and Blow (2004) indicate that such client variables as
level of motivation, gender, age, race, inner strength, religious faith are
factors that determine counseling effectiveness. Client’s frame of reference, perception,
thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings are still found to be consistent
predictors of improvement in therapy outcomes (Duncan & Moynihan, 1994).
Lynch (2012) stated that psychotherapy outcomes can be influenced by motivation
and client’s personality. Similarly, Harkness and Lilienfeld (1997), cited in Ajayi (2014), stress the role of client variables
such as personality traits in predicting therapeutic outcome.
This research was intended to
examine client’s personality traits in relation to counseling outcome. Some of studies have shown that
personality traits are a good predictor human behavior. According to Leong (2005), traits are an
important concept in counseling psychology because of its relevance to life
success and adjustment, personality of clients infuses the counseling process
and its importance to understand clients and to clients self awareness. Thus, assessment
of client’s personality features may help the counselor in the process of
determining the technique. Examining personality structure of the client may
reduce the risk of fundamental attribution errors. The result that obtained
from the assessment of personality structure can be used to guide collaborative
treatment relationships (Wright & Davis, 1994).
In a study of 2013, Chaudhri et al.
concluded that personality assessment at baseline will identify the patients
who are more likely to default from treatment and behavioral therapy; while
counseling in advance will prevent them from default (p.304). Matching counseling style with the
personality of the client was necessary for optimal therapeutic outcome.
Taking personality into account may enable to enhance improved practice of psychotherapy
(Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler, 2008).
In a study conducted by
Ogrodniczuk, Piper, Joyce, McCallum, & Rosie, (2003)using 107 patients who
completed therapy, it was found that scores
on particular dimensional client’s personality trait are associated with a
favorable treatment outcome. Higher scores on the neuroticism dimension were
associated with less favorable outcome while higher scores on the Extraversion,
Conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness dimension were associated with
more favorable outcome. There were no significant interactions between these
dimensions and form of therapy (p.431).
& Adler (2008) examined the role of personality traits for anxiety and
depression. They found that Openness and agreeableness were associated with
good outcome, while Neuroticism and Introversion were stronger predictors of poor
outcome. Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler (2008) also found that Neuroticism had
a strong and robust impact on adaptive outcome, while agreeableness did not
predict any adaptive outcomes.
Extraversion and Conscientiousness were the second and third personality
traits predicting adaptive outcomes.
Hopwood et al (2010) found
that extraversion and conscientiousness was higher predictor of
They conclude that, “traits postdicted the utilization of
individual, group and family psychotherapy, and hospitalizations, and predicted
medication use and family psychotherapy. Using Cattell’s (1974) 16 personality
factors, Jinkerson et.al (2015) found that client’s personality was a stronger
predictor of therapy preference. Specifically, individuals who preferred
Feeling preferred cognitive therapy, where as Extraversion-Introversion,
Sensing-Intuition, and Judging-Perceiving were non-significant.
The role of personality traits in
influencing individual life outcome and wellbeing was also emphasized by some
domestic researchers. For example, Kassahun (2015) have shown that there is in
fact a correlation between personality traits and wellbeing. Extraversion and agreeableness were found to
be correlated with objective well-being. However, the relationship between
personality traits and psychotherapy outcomes is the issue not addressed in the
Ethiopian setting. This study attempts
to examine how personality traits could relate to counseling effectiveness
among patients in the Ethiopia setting.
As I stated earlier, even though there were
different determinant factor of counseling outcome; this study focuses the
relationships between client’s personality and therapeutic outcome. This is
because the researcher believes that assessing client’s personality trait would
potentially provide counselor with an effective means of identifying which
clients are benefit most from treatment.
Furthermore, this study will examine how client’s level of extraversion,
agreeableness, consciousness, neuroticism, and openness would influence
of the Problem
Although scholars have often
discussed the role of client’s characteristics in influencing treatment outcome
(e.g. John & Srivastava; 1999, Minami et
al.; 2009, Meuret et al.;2016 ) there
have been few empirical investigations linking these client personality traits
with therapeutic outcome. Moreover, existing investigations
have concentrated on how personality trait predicts individual behavior, and types
of pathology (e.g. Naragon-Gainey and
Watson; 2014, Terracciano
et al; 2008 & Rosillini and
Brown, 2011 Dijkstra & Barelds ; 2008; Lounsbury et al, 2003, Robison & Sepannen;1995, Fein &
Klein; 2011,Chaudhri, et al, 2013 Judge & Bono; & Ekehammar & Akrami;2007).
However few previous studies from
various setting indicate that client’s personality trait and therapeutic
success are highly correlated (e.g. Cemalcilar, Canbeyli, & Sunar; 2003, , Ogrodniczuke et al; 2003, Jinkerson et.al;
2015, Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler; 2008, Bagby; 2008, & Hopwood et al
;2010). Bagby(2008) found that Openness was the significant predictor of lower depression severity at treatment
completion. But there are also some
findings which have found little or no significant relationship between
personality trait and counseling successfulness. Regarding the case of
Ethiopia, there is no research conducted in the area.