People seek assistance or help of others whenthey fail to resolve their own problems. Psychotherapy is one of the tools thatenhance clients to access their own capacities for growth (McFadzean, 2005).
Alternativereasons for seeking counseling may include “confusion because of anoverwhelming number of options, a need to make a choice among a few goodoptions, or a desire to confirm an already made choice” (p.392). Psychotherapy outcomes can be influenced byvarious factors such as therapy techniques, therapeutic alliance, therapistvariables, and client’s characteristics (Bhargava& Sriram; 2016; Lambert; 2013,Sprenkle and Blow; 2004). Extra therapeutic change, placebo, and specifictechnique are consistent predictor of treatment outcomes (Lambert, 2013). Bernal.et.
al(1998) suggest that symptom severity; alliance and number of therapysessions; and satisfaction from therapy are also associated with therapyeffectiveness. Onthe other hand, Sprenkle and Blow (2004) indicate that such client variables aslevel of motivation, gender, age, race, inner strength, religious faith arefactors that determine counseling effectiveness. Client’s frame of reference, perception,thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings are still found to be consistentpredictors of improvement in therapy outcomes (Duncan & Moynihan, 1994).Lynch (2012) stated that psychotherapy outcomes can be influenced by motivationand client’s personality. Similarly, Harkness and Lilienfeld (1997), cited in Ajayi (2014), stress the role of client variablessuch as personality traits in predicting therapeutic outcome.
This research was intended toexamine client’s personality traits in relation to counseling outcome. Some of studies have shown thatpersonality traits are a good predictor human behavior. According to Leong (2005), traits are animportant concept in counseling psychology because of its relevance to lifesuccess and adjustment, personality of clients infuses the counseling processand its importance to understand clients and to clients self awareness. Thus, assessmentof client’s personality features may help the counselor in the process ofdetermining the technique. Examining personality structure of the client mayreduce the risk of fundamental attribution errors. The result that obtainedfrom the assessment of personality structure can be used to guide collaborativetreatment relationships (Wright & Davis, 1994). In a study of 2013, Chaudhri et al.
concluded that personality assessment at baseline will identify the patientswho are more likely to default from treatment and behavioral therapy; whilecounseling in advance will prevent them from default (p.304). Matching counseling style with thepersonality of the client was necessary for optimal therapeutic outcome.Taking personality into account may enable to enhance improved practice of psychotherapy(Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler, 2008).
In a study conducted byOgrodniczuk, Piper, Joyce, McCallum, & Rosie, (2003)using 107 patients whocompleted therapy, it was found that scoreson particular dimensional client’s personality trait are associated with afavorable treatment outcome. Higher scores on the neuroticism dimension wereassociated with less favorable outcome while higher scores on the Extraversion,Conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness dimension were associated withmore favorable outcome. There were no significant interactions between thesedimensions and form of therapy (p.431). Zinbarg, Uliaszek,& Adler (2008) examined the role of personality traits for anxiety anddepression. They found that Openness and agreeableness were associated withgood outcome, while Neuroticism and Introversion were stronger predictors of pooroutcome. Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler (2008) also found that Neuroticism hada strong and robust impact on adaptive outcome, while agreeableness did notpredict any adaptive outcomes. Extraversion and Conscientiousness were the second and third personalitytraits predicting adaptive outcomes.
Hopwood et al (2010) foundthat extraversion and conscientiousness was higher predictor oftreatment.They conclude that, “traits postdicted the utilization ofindividual, group and family psychotherapy, and hospitalizations, and predictedmedication use and family psychotherapy. Using Cattell’s (1974) 16 personalityfactors, Jinkerson et.al (2015) found that client’s personality was a strongerpredictor of therapy preference. Specifically, individuals who preferredFeeling preferred cognitive therapy, where as Extraversion-Introversion,Sensing-Intuition, and Judging-Perceiving were non-significant.
The role of personality traits ininfluencing individual life outcome and wellbeing was also emphasized by somedomestic researchers. For example, Kassahun (2015) have shown that there is infact a correlation between personality traits and wellbeing. Extraversion and agreeableness were found tobe correlated with objective well-being. However, the relationship betweenpersonality traits and psychotherapy outcomes is the issue not addressed in theEthiopian setting. This study attemptsto examine how personality traits could relate to counseling effectivenessamong patients in the Ethiopia setting. As I stated earlier, even though there weredifferent determinant factor of counseling outcome; this study focuses therelationships between client’s personality and therapeutic outcome. This isbecause the researcher believes that assessing client’s personality trait wouldpotentially provide counselor with an effective means of identifying whichclients are benefit most from treatment.
Furthermore, this study will examine how client’s level of extraversion,agreeableness, consciousness, neuroticism, and openness would influencetherapeutic outcome. 1.2. Statementof the Problem Although scholars have oftendiscussed the role of client’s characteristics in influencing treatment outcome(e.g. John & Srivastava; 1999, Minami etal.; 2009, Meuret et al.
;2016 ) therehave been few empirical investigations linking these client personality traitswith therapeutic outcome. Moreover, existing investigationshave concentrated on how personality trait predicts individual behavior, and typesof pathology (e.g. Naragon-Gainey andWatson; 2014, Terraccianoet al; 2008 & Rosillini andBrown, 2011 Dijkstra & Barelds ; 2008; Lounsbury et al, 2003, Robison & Sepannen;1995, Fein &Klein; 2011,Chaudhri, et al, 2013 Judge & Bono; & Ekehammar & Akrami;2007).
However few previous studies fromvarious setting indicate that client’s personality trait and therapeuticsuccess are highly correlated (e.g. Cemalcilar, Canbeyli, & Sunar; 2003, , Ogrodniczuke et al; 2003, Jinkerson et.al;2015, Zinbarg, Uliaszek, & Adler; 2008, Bagby; 2008, & Hopwood et al;2010). Bagby(2008) found that Openness was the significant predictor of lower depression severity at treatmentcompletion. But there are also somefindings which have found little or no significant relationship betweenpersonality trait and counseling successfulness. Regarding the case ofEthiopia, there is no research conducted in the area.