WOMEN IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: THEIR LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES AND TREATMENT NEEDS

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Abstract

This study explored how certain social/ cultural conditions influence women's psychotherapy treatment needs. To this end, we assessed the primary presenting problem and mental health functioning of a sample of 379 women who sought psychotherapy. Relevant subgroups were formed based on life circumstances (e.g., single-parent women, “roleless” women, ever-single professional women). Comparisons of the reasons for treatment and level of mental health functioning at presentation were made between the full sample of women patients and each life circumstances group. Relevant comparisons between the different life circumstances groups were also made. The results indicated that clinically relevant differences in treatment needs exist among women patients in different life circumstances. These findings have important treatment and training implications.

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