Laurie Heatherington

Laurie Heatherington
Williams College · Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology

About

73
Publications
48,977
Reads
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2,050
Citations
Citations since 2016
6 Research Items
827 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
University of A Coruña
January 1998 - December 2012
Albany State University
Education
September 1976
University of Connecticut
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology

Publications

Publications (73)
Chapter
This chapter reviews meta-analytic evidence for the alliance-outcome relation in couple and family therapy (CFT). The authors describe the unique features of CFT alliances and their measurement, followed by case descriptions. A meta-analysis of 48 studies ( N s = 2,568 families, 1,545 couples, and 491 effect sizes) found r = .297. In another analys...
Article
A pilot study and two intensive studies were conducted to document the local vocabularies used by Burundians to describe mental health problems and their understandings about the causes. The pilot study-in which 14 different large groups of community members awaiting appointments at a village health clinic were engaged in open-ended discussions of...
Article
Best practices in global mental health stress the importance of understanding local values and beliefs. Research demonstrates that expectancies about the effectiveness of a given treatment significantly predicts outcome, beyond the treatment effect itself. To help inform the development of mental health interventions in Burundi, we studied expectan...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships between young people with anxiety and their non-affected siblings are important for both individuals in the dyad, and for family dynamics throughout the lifespan; however, these relationships are not well understood. This study examined the experience of growing up with an anxious sibling from the sibling without anxiety’s point of vi...
Article
Challenges of relational coping are well documented in the literature on couples and chronic illnesses, but there is significantly less research on the psychological aspects of couple relationships and HIV, particularly in international contexts. Coping with the uncertainty of illness progression, family planning, disclosure to friends and family,...
Article
Full-text available
Only in working conjointly with couples and families do therapists literally witness clients struggling to improve their most intimate relationships. In writing this article, we realized that, in true systemic fashion, not only have many of our clients benefited from working with us, but also we have learned some invaluable lessons from them. Indee...
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy, and to a lesser extent, effectiveness, of individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders has been demonstrated, but whether manualized treatments work in a group format in community settings is less established. We investigated the predictors of retention and outcome in 26 groups (11 Generalized Anxiety Disorder,...
Article
Reviews the book, Minding the Child edited by Nick Midgely and Ionna Vrouva (see record 2012-09926-000). This edited volume was conceived as a result of conversations and articles at two conferences in 2010. The focus of the conferences- and the book-is mentalization-based interventions with children. The stated goals of the book are "to provide an...
Article
Full-text available
The focus of this article is the increasingly narrow range of therapeutic orientations represented in clinical psychology graduate training programs, particularly within the most research‐oriented programs. Data on the self‐reported therapeutic orientations of faculty at “clinical science” Ph.D. programs, Ph.D. programs at comprehensive universitie...
Article
Full-text available
Sequential analyses examined associations between the working alliance and therapist-adolescent communication patterns in 10 Spanish cases of brief conjoint family therapy. Early sessions with strong versus problematic alliances, rated by observers, were selected for coding of relational control communication patterns. No differences were found in...
Chapter
Full-text available
After 5 years of conceptualizing, investigating, and writing about corrective experiences (CEs), we (the authors of this chapter) met to talk about what we learned. In this chapter, we summarize our joint understanding of (a) the definition of CEs; (b) the contexts in which CEs occur; (c) client, therapist, and external factors that facilitate CEs;...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we describe a specific technology for training/supervision and research on the working alliance in either individual or couple/family therapy. The technology is based on the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances (SOFTA; Friedlander, Escudero, & Heatherington, 2006), which contains four conceptual dimensions (Engagement in t...
Article
Full-text available
Couple and family therapy (CFT) is challenging because multiple interacting working alliances develop simultaneously and are heavily influenced by preexisting family dynamics. An original meta-analysis of 24 published CFT alliance-retention/outcome studies (k = 17 family and 7 couple studies; N = 1,416 clients) showed a weighted aggregate r = .26,...
Chapter
Full-text available
The theoretical, clinical, and empirical foundations of psychotherapy come from five primary movements that still exist today, continue to evolve, and remain scientifically productive: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, systemic, and integrative. The goal of this chapter is to examine the philosophical, clinical, and scientific underp...
Article
Full-text available
For lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and young adults, coming out to family members, especially parents, is a major psychological decision and hurdle due to both perceived fears and actual negative consequences. But beyond the literature on factors associated with the decision to come out and parents' initial reactions to the disclosure...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the attributions that mothers make about their teens' negative behaviors and whether these attributions are related to their own attributional styles, as well as the relationship between mothers' attributions and parent-teen relationship conflict. Globality of mothers' attributions was particularly important: Globality of attrib...
Article
The introduction of the concept of the therapeutic alliance to the family literature has considerable heuristic value. We undertook a study of the psychometric properties of the Couple and Family Therapy Alliance Scales (IPAS) (Pinsof & Catherall, 1986), two theoretically derived and systemically based measures of the alliance. Outpatient couple an...
Article
The structural and Milan systemic approaches were compared in order to determine the extent to which their major proponents behave in ways that are consistent with theory. The focus was on interpersonal control dynamics between therapist and family system. Three published transcripts of each treatment were intensively studied using the Family Relat...
Article
Family therapy theory, practice, and research across many orientations are concerned with multiperson interactional phenomena such as intercepts, disconfirmations, and indirect communications. This study reports a successful criterion validity test of the rules for coding these triadic features in the Family Relational Communication Control Coding...
Article
Two large-scale studies assessed the nature and correlates of young Jamaicans' attitudes toward mental illness. In study 1, students viewed a videotaped job interview for a teacher whose history was manipulated to include a history of mental illness, or not. Students desired significantly less social distance (i.e., more contact) with the “normal”...
Article
Full-text available
To advance research and inform practice, the authors developed an observational rating system of client behavior reflecting strong and weak therapeutic alliances in couple and family therapy. The System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances (SOFTA), in both English and Spanish, has 2 dimensions that are common across therapy modalities ("emotional...
Book
"Therapeutic Alliances in Couple and Family Therapy" demonstrates the crucial importance of healthy working relationships with clients in couple and family therapy. The authors' conceptual model (System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances, or SOFTA) integrates theory, research, and practice related to the alliance in couple and family therapy. T...
Article
Full-text available
In our field, the study of therapeutic change processes lags behind the study of treatment efficacy. Nonetheless, in the past 10 years major strides have been made in delineating change process mechanisms in couple and family therapy. To focus the efforts of future change process researchers, the authors discuss 5 critical needs: (a) more well-arti...
Article
Full-text available
This study demonstrates and illustrates an integrative, systemic methodology for studying couples' interactions. We investigated the problem discussions of 58 engaged couples who participated in the Denver Family Development Study (e.g., Markman, Floyd, Stanley, & Storaassli, 1988). Sequential analyses were used to analyze the relational control be...
Article
This study examined the effect of social context on the extent to which young men express their emotions, in particular, sadness. Sadness was induced in 87 college men, who were then brought into a room with two confederates (2 men or 2 women) and asked to talk about their feelings. This followed either expression of sadness by one confederate (whi...
Article
This study examined the effects of gender on how people present their academic achievements when interacting with vulnerable male peers. Participants were 86 college students (40 males, 46 females) drawn from a population that was 7% African American, 10% Asian American, 6% Latino/a, 6% non-U.S. citizens, and 71% Euro-Americans. They were induced t...
Article
Full-text available
Blaming events (N=25) were identified in seven interviews conducted by prominent theorists who espouse a constructionist or narrative approach to family treatment. Congruent with this perspective, we used conversation analysis (Gale, 1996) and the grounded theory method of constant comparison (Corbin & Strauss, 1990) to identify the therapists’ beh...
Article
To study family members' narrative descriptions of their difficulties, we developed an observational coding system, the Cognitive Construction Coding System (CCCS). In this system, 4 dimensions of clients' problem descriptions (intrapersonal-interpersonal) and causal explanations (internal-external, responsible-not responsible, linear-circular) are...
Article
Pursuing answers to the twin questions of whenand why women engage in “modest”self-presentation, this study examined theself-presentation of academic achievement in a collegesetting. Gender of the participants, gender of the partners,and vulnerability (concern over his/her low grades ornot) of the partner were completely crossed.Participants were 8...
Article
Much contemporary family therapy theory and practice takes into account clients' cognitive constructions of their family problems. Recent calls for therapists to elicit and work with clients' causal explanations and narratives parallel accumulating evidence in the social-clinical literature about the predictive importance of attributions in family...
Article
One important clinical task in family therapy involves transforming the client's construction of the presenting problem from an individual, intrapersonal view to an interpersonal, relational, or systemic one (Sluzki, 1992). To study the transformation process in initial sessions, we sampled 8 families in which the referring parent requested help fo...
Article
Children's attributions about the causes of family arguments affect both their interpretations of the meaning of and their adjustment to such events. Children's attributions about family arguments are, therefore, of importance in family therapy, especially for therapists who work from a cognitive or constructivist perspective. In an exploratory stu...
Article
This study examined men's and women'sself-presentation of academic achievement in aninteractional context. First-year college students wereled to expect an interaction with a peer to discussacademic achievement. However, the peer was actually aconfederate who portrayed his or her achievement in aboastful, moderate, or self-deprecating manner. Prior...
Article
Full-text available
Despite convincing outcome evidence and the popularity of family therapy, little is known about how interpersonal change actually comes about in this context. To synthesize and integrate what is known and to offer recommendations for future, clinically relevant research, all published process studies on family therapy were reviewed. Included were n...
Article
Full-text available
In response to the call for researchers to identify components of family treatment that are common across theoretical approaches (e.g., A. S. Gurman, 1988), a qualitative analysis was undertaken of an important change event in family treatment: sustaining engagement (SE). Using R. C. Bogdan and S. K. Biklen's (1992) modified analytic induction meth...
Article
Two experiments examined motivations underlying the common finding that females present themselves more modestly than males in achievement situations. In Study 1, 388 first-year college students, primarily European-Americans, predicted their first semester grade point averages (GPAs) in one of 3 public and 2 private conditions, which varied the sal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In examining the process of change in structural family therapy, interpersonal control patterns were observed within and across 15 sessions of inpatient treatment of a chronic anorexic family. Results showed that the primary therapist maintained a consistently active, dominant, and central position in the therapeutic system. As predicted, complemen...
Article
In examining the process of change in structural family therapy, interpersonal control patterns were observed within and across 15 sessions of inpatient treatment of a chronic anorexic family. Results showed that the primary therapist maintained a consistently active, dominant, and central position in the therapeutic system. As predicted, complemen...
Article
Researchers of this study questioned: Are clients (male or female) with self‐reported “masculine” versus “feminine” role orientations viewed more favorably by counselors? Which is more predictive of the counselor's impressions: the client's gender or his or her sex role orientation? Results suggested that highly masculine and highly feminine client...
Article
Two experiments were conducted in which first-year male and female subjects (75% white; 25% minorities) at a highly selective liberal arts college predicted their first-semester grade point averages (GPAs). The first experiment varied whether predictions were given publicly or privately when an incentive for accuracy was either present or absent. W...
Article
Full-text available
A nonverbal component for an observational coding system of verbal relational control, the Family Relational Communication Control Coding System (FRCCCS; Friedlander & Heatherington, 1989) was developed and validated for research with families or other groups. In so doing, it was demonstrated that nonverbal relational control behaviors can be relia...
Article
Explicates 4 metatheoretical dimensions of therapist controllingness and uses them to compare a range of individual and family therapies. These dimensions are (1) overt controllingness, (2) protection of knowledge, (3) participation in decision making, and (4) directness/indirectness of intervention. The analysis reveals substantive differences bet...
Article
Full-text available
Applies task analyses (an intensive, discovery-oriented approach to psychotherapy research) to family therapy, focusing on a sample of S. Minuchin's (1974) work in structural therapy. To date, task analysis has been used mainly to study single-person clinical change events in individual treatment. The theoretical base and 2 videotaped demonstration...
Article
Applies task analyses (an intensive, discovery-oriented approach to psychotherapy research) to family therapy, focusing on a sample of S. Minuchin's (1974) work in structural therapy. To date, task analysis has been used mainly to study single-person clinical change events in individual treatment. The theoretical base and 2 videotaped demonstration...
Article
Full-text available
We examined relational control communication patterns in systemic family therapy sessions. Therapist interactions with each family member ( N = 29 families) were examined with the Family Relational Communication Control Coding System. Results showed significantly more complementarity, which reflects mutuality in the definition of a relationship, th...
Article
Examines the practical and theoretical problems of failing to take context into account in observational coding during the course of psychotherapy process research. Six content levels are considered: culture, the psychological situation, the therapist–client relationship, the event, immediate communicative context, and the private unconscious conte...
Article
Two studies involving 224 undergraduates examined gender differences in moral reasoning and judgments about competitive athletic encounters. In Study 1, Ss read an open-ended script regarding a competitive athletic encounter between friends, which required a decision with achievement related or affiliation related outcomes. Ss made a decision and r...
Article
Reviews four books, Psychology New York: Macmillan by Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., J. Roy Hopkins, and Jack R. Nation (1987); Psychology Boston: Houghton Mifilin Douglas A. Bernstein, Edward J Roy, Christopher D. Wickens, and Thomas K Srull (1988); Psychology: A First Encounter by Dennis Krebs and Roger Blackman (1988) and Psychology: Perspectives on Beh...
Article
Two studies examine the hypothesis that females who are immodest about their achievements are perceived more negatively than are males who are immodest. The assumptions that there are social consequences of immodesty, and that women and girls believe there to be such consequences, have been raised in self-presentational explanations of women's tend...
Article
Extends Ericson and Rogers's (1973) Relational Communication Control Coding System (RCCCS) to family contexts. The original system operationalized the constructs of symmetry and complementarity in dyadic communication by allowing a mapping of interpersonal control dynamics in 2-person relations. Because the RCCCS was devised for dyads only, we made...
Article
Presents several scenarios that illustrate the ethical and practical issues involved in conducting family therapy research. The 3 elements of informed consent, identified in the Belmont Report (1979) as information, comprehension, and voluntariness, are discussed. Guidelines for applying the American Psychological Association ethical principles (se...
Article
I review theoretical and empirical issues that have arisen from the use of the Relational Communication Control Coding System (Ericson & Rogers, 1973) in counseling research, and I report on a two-factor criterion validity study. Subjects were 242 undergraduates in 10 groups who listened to one of five audiotaped interactions after being told that...
Article
This study examined the relationship between beginning therapists' personalities and their evaluations of three divergent family therapy styles. Sixty clinical and counseling psychology students completed the Adjective Checklist (Gough & Heilbrun, 1983) and rated videotaped therapy sessions conducted by Bowen, Minuckin, and Whitaker. Adjective Chec...
Article
Tested the hypothesis that, along several dimensions, women may be favored as psychotherapy clients by examining ratings of the process-relevant interpersonal characteristics and gross outcome expectancies for 72 new male and 92 new female clients (mean age 41 yrs). Eight male and 8 female therapists (mean age 36 yrs) completed a questionnaire that...
Article
Studied the influence of counselor and client sex on relational communication patterns in counseling using a systems theory framework. 72 audiotaped intake interviews (primarily of undergraduate clients) of 20 female and 16 male counselors, each of whom interacted with 1 male and 1 female client, were analyzed by the rational communication coding s...
Article
The immediate and delayed effects of extrinsic self-reinforcement on task performance were investigated in a study that more closely resembled practical applications of extrinsic self-reinforcement than did previous studies. Twenty highly motivated undergraduates who had volunteered for a GRE math review program were given 80 problems to solve unde...
Article
Tangible self-reinforcement is a component of procedures aimed at helping people modify their own behavior (e.g., Watson & Tharp, 1972; Williams & Long, 1975). Prior to this study, there appears to have been only one laboratory investigation of the motivating effects of this variable on young adults, the population to which these manuals are typica...
Article
This chapter discusses the ways in which therapists can build and maintain healthy alliances in couples and family therapy. The authors use the System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances model to answer the question, "How would we know a good alliance when we see it?" (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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