What to Expect in the Intake Interview? Impression Management Tactics of Psychotherapy Patients

Frühauf, Sarah; Figlioli, Patrick; Oehler, Dorothée; Caspar, Franz (2015). What to Expect in the Intake Interview? Impression Management Tactics of Psychotherapy Patients. Journal of social and clinical psychology, 34(1), pp. 28-49. Guilford Press 10.1521/jscp.2015.34.1.28

[img] Text
jscp%2E2015%2E34%2E1%2E28.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (295kB) | Request a copy

The therapeutic alliance consists of a mutual dependency between patient and therapist. Whereas earlier studies have focused on the therapists' behavioral influence, the present study examined patients' impression management tactics. The motivation to manage the impressions one has on others is particularly strong during first contact. Patients' behavioral influence was thus examined in the intake interview. Twelve possible impression management tactics were defined on the basis of theoretical conceptions of the therapeutic alliance and discussions with practicing psychotherapists. After a comprehensive training, judges rated 60 videotaped interviews. Interjudge agreement was fair to good. Influence attempts could be observed in roughly 30% of all patients' utterances. The most frequent tactics were Supplication, Provoking a response from the therapist, and Self-promotion. Patients could be grouped into three different clusters of tactic employers: Negative self-presenters, positive self-presenters, and response provokers. Male and female patients did not differ with respect to the total amount of tactics used and to the choice of specific tactics. However, when the therapist was female, male patients used significantly more tactics overall and significantly more often the tactic Negative reports about third persons. Being sensitive to patients' behavioral influence can help therapists to better understand their interactional goals and to better tailor the therapeutic alliance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Frühauf, Sarah; Figlioli, Patrick and Caspar, Franz


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Guilford Press




Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2016 12:32

Last Modified:

17 May 2016 13:48

Publisher DOI:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback