Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Hassija, Christina


According to the American Psychological Association (2006), three components should be equally considered in treatment decision-making: empirical research, clinical judgment, and the client’s values and preference. Swift, Callahan, and Vollmer (2011) defined client preferences as specific attributes that are desired in a therapeutic setting and are divided into three categories: role, therapist, and treatment-type. Currently, there is no treatment orientation scale that measures treatment type and magnitude of the relationship. For this initial phase of development, 5 treatment orientations are being used as the basis of the Client Treatment Orientation Scale (CTOS): psychodynamic, existential, cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and multicultural. The purpose of this study is to begin development of a treatment orientation scale with 5-7 questions per subscale domain. A total sample of 651 participants completed the survey, was English speaking, and aged 18 or over, with the majority being male (n = 334, 51.3%). The mean age of participants was 31.91 (SD = 8.23), with an equal distribution of degree type (e.g. psychiatrist, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology) with psychiatry the most endorsed at 26.6% (n = 173). Overall, results did not support the use of the CTOS in applied or research settings. Reliability analyses for the 5 subscales were: psychodynamic (α = .52), existential (α = .32), cognitive-behavioral therapy (α = .64), acceptance and commitment therapy (α = .46), and multicultural (α = .63). There were various limitations of the study, such as being self-report and the possibility of not being representative of the particular orientations being measured. Future research could re-examine items for latent variables or refine the current items for another factor analysis study.