Therapy Experience in Naturalistic Observational Studies is Associated with Negative Changes in Personality
Philip Chow, Jenny Wagner, Oliver Lüdtke, Brent W Roberts (2017)
Recent research has shown that personality traits change as a result of clinical therapy, although evidence for this effect is derived from efficacy studies that reflect relatively controlled experimental designs. Little is known about how therapy in real world contexts affects change in personality. In two longitudinal studies (N‘s = 1,270 and 5,217), the present research examined whether personality trait change was associated with therapy experience. Propensity score matching was used to compare trajectories of personality trait change in individuals with and without therapy experiences. Overall, therapy experiences were associated with significant increases in undesirable traits and markers (e.g., chronic stress, depression, neuroticism), and significant decreases in desirable traits (e.g., self-esteem, conscientiousness).