Title

Therapist physical attractiveness: An unexplored influence on client disclosure

Keywords

therapy, physical attraction, gender

Abstract

Existing research indicates that clients perceive facially attractive therapists as more competent, trustworthy, genuine, and effective than less attractive therapists. No Studies exist to help explain how the therapist's attractiveness influences a client's self‐disclosure. Participants (n = 241) were randomly assigned to one of eight experimental groups to test the interaction of the therapist's attractiveness, client's gender, the nature of presenting problem, and the client's comfort with disclosing in a hypothetical couple therapy scenario. Analysis of variance procedures established that most participants reported feeling more comfortable disclosing a benign (communications) problem than a potentially embarrassing (sexual) problem, and more comfortable disclosing problem to an attractive than to a less attractive female therapist. Therapists are encouraged to understand the power attractiveness may have in their own and their client's lives.

Original Publication Citation

Harris, S. M., & Busby, D. M. (1998). Therapist physical attractiveness: An unexplored influence on client disclosure. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 24, 251-257.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1998-4

Publisher

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Share

COinS