Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Scott A. Gustafson

Second Advisor

Mary Caitlin Fertitta

Third Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


The onset of the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) two and a half years prior to this writing resulted in shifts in everyday life, as individuals worldwide were required to shelter-in-place and abide by social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the disease. This resulted in a marked increase in the utilization of virtual platforms (“teletherapy”) by mental health care providers, including training clinics, to continue providing therapy services to the community at large. Although the pandemic restrictions have lifted, adaptations made during shelter-in-place mandates remain, including provision of services via teletherapy platforms. The pandemic shed light on the various benefits of teletherapy and previous research indicates teletherapy is as efficacious as traditional in-person therapy for various mental health disorders. Limited research has been conducted regarding individual pre-treatment factors that may affect therapeutic outcomes, including personality traits. Specifically, the trait of neuroticism has been given ample attention in the literature as individuals high on neuroticism are more likely to have a mental health disorder and have poorer therapeutic outcomes in traditional therapy. The present study examined the effects of neuroticism and treatment modality on therapeutic outcomes. Additionally, the study evaluated whether clinicians in training can provide teletherapy services as effectively as in-person services. Archival data from a community mental health training clinic (N = 54) was collected where new clients undergo personality testing with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 and MMPI-3) and weekly administration of the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2 (OQ-45.2) to monitor treatment progress and outcomes. Results revealed no significant main effects or interaction between neuroticism and treatment delivery modality on therapeutic outcomes. Thus, results from this study support the continued use of teletherapy for outpatient clients independent from neuroticism trait expression.


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