Does therapist experience influence interruptions of women clients?

Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson, Megan J. Murphy, Jennifer Lynn Fitzharris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The feminist critique of marriage and family therapy and studies of interruptions in conversation influenced the topic of the present study. We replicated methodology from a study (Werner-Wilson, Price, Zimmerman, & Murphy, 1997) in which the researchers reported that student therapists interrupted women clients more frequently than male clients. Those results may have been related to therapist inexperience-since the therapists were students. In the present study we compared interruptions from student therapists to those identified as “master” therapists who had extensive clinical experience. Analysis of Variance was used to compare videotaped sessions of therapists in marriage and family therapy training sessions to therapists from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Masters series. Results suggest that there is no statistically significant difference between the rate of interruptions used by students versus experienced therapists. Both groups interrupted women clients more often than men clients, a finding that replicates the earlier study by Werner-Wilson and colleagues (1997), which increases the generalizability about this pattern in marriage and family therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Feminist Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 22 2004


  • Couples therapy
  • Feminist family therapy
  • Process research
  • Therapy dynamics
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology


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