Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Bruce W. Hartman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margaret Brady-Amoon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John E. Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian P. Cole, Ph.D.


personality, psychotherapy, theoretical orientation, preference


This research examined the extent to which people’s dispositional qualities predict their psychotherapy preferences. Additionally, this study examined the extent to which people’s attitude toward seeking professional psychological help would predict their psychotherapy preferences above and beyond their dispositional characteristics.

An online survey was administered to participants (N = 312) for remuneration. Personality traits were measured using the HEXACO-60, attachment styles were measured using the Relationships Questionnaire (RQ) and Experiences in Close Relationships Scale- Short Form (ECR-S), attitude toward help seeking was measured with the Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale – Short Form (ATSPPHS-SF), and psychotherapy preferences were measured by the Preferences for Psychotherapy Approaches Scale – Revised (PPAS-R) and the Counseling Approach Evaluation Form (CAEF).

Hierarchical regression results revealed that certain personality traits and attachment styles were significant predictors of psychotherapy preferences. In particular, results showed that those who scored higher in agreeableness tended to prefer psychodynamic psychotherapy, where as those who with higher levels of education as well as individuals identifying as gay or lesbian demonstrated a stronger dislike of psychodynamic psychotherapy. No predictive associations were found for person-centered therapy preference. Finally, with regard to people’s attitude toward help seeking, it was found that participants who endorsed being more open to seeking psychotherapy demonstrated a stronger preference for CBT. These findings are discussed relative to other studies in this line of inquiry and implications for further research are presented.