Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Feedback (Psychology), Psychotherapist and patient, Therapeutic alliance, Control (Psychology), Interpersonal relations, Interpersonal psychotherapy, Race, Common factors, Therapeutic relationship, Working alliance, Power, Privilege, Interpersonal process


This study was undertaken to explore how mental health clinicians using feedback informed treatment (FIT) interventions attempt to increase the likelihood of receiving genuine feedback from their clients. Furthermore, the study explores clinicians' perceptions about the ways in which interpersonal power dynamics, including race/ethnicity dynamics, influence the feedback process. An anonymous online survey was posted on two Internet forums for FIT practitioners. A final sample of thirty licensed mental health clinicians completed the mixed methods survey, answering five demographics questions (age, gender, race/ethnicity, years using FIT methods, and nationality) and three open-ended questions. The open-ended questions asked respondents to discuss how they strove to evoke genuine feedback from clients as well as how they perceived power and race/ethnicity dynamics to interplay with the feedback process. The findings showed that respondents used a variety of strategies to engender trust, comfort, and collaboration with clients in response to clients' reasonable skepticism about the process of feedback interventions. A majority of clinicians communicated sensitivity to ways in which power dynamics (in and outside of the therapy room) silence or inhibit clients, noting that FIT interventions helped some clients feel more empowered in the therapeutic relationship. At the same time, almost half of respondents (all white identified) denied the impact of race and ethnicity dynamics on the feedback process, raising questions about the degree to which white FIT practitioners are aware of their own participation in disempowering racial enactments.




v, 109 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 90-92)