Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Amanda Jensen-Doss

Second Committee Member

Saneya Tawfik

Third Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee


Despite having the most prevalent group of psychiatric disorders, many people with internalizing disorders do not receive treatment. One factor related to lack of treatment is a shortage of qualified mental health therapists. Task shifting may be one solution to this shortage, but has been relatively unused due to the idea that less experienced therapists may not be able to attain commiserate client outcomes as more experienced therapists. However, a relationship between therapist experience and client internalizing outcomes has never been found, a critical first step in determining if task shifting is a viable option to getting millions of people in the United States treatment. Through the meta-analysis of 16 articles representing 31 distinct studies, this study provides an updated and more thorough understanding of the relationship between therapist experience and internalizing client outcome. Although a modest relationship between experience and outcomes was found, the clinical significance of this finding is limited. Further investigation of task-shifting as a potential solution to provider shortages is recommended, as well as a call for renewed research in this area using longitudinal within-therapist designs.


internalizing; anxiety; therapist experience; depression