Term of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Dorthie Cross

Committee Member 1

Nick Holtzman

Committee Member 2

Ryan Couillou


The current study aimed to investigate the influence of psychotherapist self-disclosure of religious identity on perceptions of the therapeutic alliance between rural and non-rural individuals. The impact of therapist disclosure-type (i.e., therapist discloses they are religious, non-religious, or does not disclose), initiation-type (i.e., therapist discloses their religious identity unprompted or by client prompt), and rural-status (i.e., rural and non-rural participants) on participant perceptions of the therapeutic alliance and likeliness to return to therapy is evaluated. Consistent with the first hypothesis, therapist-initiation resulted in significantly higher alliance scores, but this effect was driven by rural-status; that is, an interaction revealed alliance scores significantly differed by initiation-type for rural participants, but not for non-rural participants. While the other hypotheses were not supported for alliance, the results did reveal significant interaction effects when evaluating likeliness to return ratings; consistent with the literature, an interaction between disclosure-type and rural-status indicated non-rural participants reported significantly higher likeliness to return ratings within the no-information level compared to the other levels. Furthermore, participants rated their likeliness to return significantly lower within the therapist-initiated, non-religious condition compared to the other levels.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material