Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.
Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Therapist empathy has long been recognized as an important therapeutic factor across different psychotherapies. However, despite its widely accepted clinical importance, empathy is conceptually complex, and its relation to other psychotherapy constructs and to therapy outcomes remains empirically unclear. The current study examined the association between empathy and the therapeutic alliance, as well as their respective and potentially interactive associations with treatment outcome. Using confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and path analysis, these relations were examined in the context of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a condition for which little research exists on treatment process and relationship variables. Although not all path analyses could be interpreted because of the relatively small sample size (N = 69), the results indicated, as predicted, a distinction between therapist empathy and the global therapeutic alliance, as well as therapist empathy and the alliance components (viz., bond, tasks, and goals). Empathy and the therapeutic alliance differentially predicted outcome as measured by global anxiety symptomatology level. In addition, a model where early empathy’s relationship to outcome was mediated by the middle alliance was a significant improvement over a model without the mediation.