Preference for a particular mode of psychotherapy was hypothesized to relate to psychoanalytically derived characterological attributes of the potential client. Specifically, psychoanalysis was seen as a mode which enhances dependency within the client and fosters an air of intimacy in the treatment, while behavior therapy was seen as consonant with a more aloof stance between client and therapist, involving concrete and rigid procedures. It was hypothesized that oral fixation within clients would correlate with a preference for psychoanalysis while anal fixation would correlate with a preference for behavior therapy. 87 students took the Rorschach (which was content-scored for fixation) and also indicated preferences for psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, and client-centered therapy. Results confirmed the hypothesized relationships, but these accounted only for a small proportion of the variance. An unhypothesized relationship emerged between sadistic fixation and a bias against behavior therapy. Conceptual suggestions are offered to interpret these findings, and an unexpected sex difference in the correlations, within the context of psychosexual theory.
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