ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 73-82.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00073

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Client engagement: Concept, measurement and influential factors

ZHOU Zhongying; XIA Mian; JIANG Guangrong; SUN Qiwu   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education;
     Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province;School of Psychology;
    School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2015-04-02 Online:2016-01-15 Published:2016-01-15
  • Contact: XIA Mian, E-mail:


Client engagement, considered as a prerequisite for clients to benefit from counseling and psychotherapy, refers to clients’ mental and behavioral process of engaging in counseling and psychotherapy and making unremitting efforts towards changes. The majority of present studies focusing on client engagement primarily examined behavioral perspectives. Client engagement consists of three core elements: session attendance, intro-session involvement, and inter-session involvement, measured separately through different methods. This paper also summarized several factors related to client engagement, including client characteristics, therapist characteristics, client-therapist interaction, family and social culture, and other objective factors. Among all the factors, client’s cognition and motivation may exert a great influence on client engagement. Future research should explore the elements, dynamic characters, and influential factors of client engagement, and improve its assessment and intervention. In addition, the relationship between client engagement and counseling outcomes should be examined in the future.

Key words: client engagement, adherence, participation, measurement