TMATCH
A COMPUTER PROGRAM FOR MATCHING CLIENTS TO PSYCHOTHERAPISTS

Why is Such a Program Needed?

The way people usually find therapists is by referrals by friends or doctors, or by some other chance method such as being assigned to the next available therapist at a clinic. Often people are too embarrassed to ask their friends, and have no idea how to find a therapist. People almost never know what type of therapist would be best for them, or what therapist qualities would make them most comfortable. Therapists are quite different from each other, in both their personalities and in their emphasis on different aspects of therapy. TMatch is based on the idea that different therapists match better or worse with different clients, and a rational basis is available for selecting a therapist for a client that would have the most chance of helping that client.

TMatch is Based on Psychotherapy Research

For over 30 years, there has been a type of science known as "Psychotherapy Research," in which psychologists study in great detail the interaction of different aspects of therapy with different aspects of clients and their problems. Although there are almost no published studies that have recommendations for matching clients to therapists, there are many studies with results that imply recommendations for different therapy techniques for different client characteristics. For TMatch, study recommendations for different therapy techniques or aspects of therapy were translated into recommendations for different therapists by assessing therapists usual emphasis or tendencies. The most useful results of this type were then combined into the computer program.

TMatch Was a First Attempt Only

TMatch was a first try only. It isn't really even ready to be named, but I gave it a name for convenience, so I didn't have to keep calling it "the computerized client-therapist matching program." I proved that a computer program based on psychotherapy research could be developed that was useful and succesful at matching clients to therapists. I did this by creating the program, and using it to match clients to therapists in a small study. My study showed what worked well, what didn't work well, and what was needed to make TMatch good enough to deserve having its own name. In the pages on this web site that describe each area of matching in detail, I will describe what is needed in each of these areas to make TMatch deserve to be named. However, even with all these improvements, TMatch will be at most a pretty good program that is better than matching by intuition and chance. My hope is that this is a helpful start to what will eventually be truly excellent ways to match people who need help to therapists who will be able to best help them.

Matching Criteria

At the bottom of this page is a list of areas of matching, which I call "matching criteria." To find out more about any of these matching criteria, click on its name. This will display a detailed explanation, which in many cases will also lead through a series of links to displays of parts of the TMatch program. It will also lead to links that describe what improvements in TMatch are needed to make this criterion truly useful. Some of these criteria closer to being ready to be used for client-therapist matching than others. The most useful criterion at present is Prescriptive Psychotherapy.


CRITERIA FOR MATCHING CLIENTS TO THERAPISTS

Prescriptive Psychotherapy

5-Factor Personality Theory

Stage of Change

Epistemological Styles

Client Attachment Style

Anaclitic vs. Introjective

Client Preference for Therapist

Client Preference for Therapy

Other Matching Methods Tried



For more information, or to give feedback, email Kenneth Frankel, Ph.D., or call me at (415) 453-3161