This study examined whether preparation decreases clients' state anxiety and improves therapy outcome and clarified the relations among preparation, expectations, and state anxiety. Ss were 138 adults referred for outpatient psychotherapy. Half of the Ss viewed an 11-min preparatory videotape, while the control group waited an equivalent period before their 1st appointment. Pre-post measures confirmed that Ss who viewed the videotape had more accurate expectations about psychotherapy and lower levels of state anxiety than the control Ss. However, at 2-month follow-up, the prepared group had significantly better outcomes on only 1 of 10 outcome measures. It is suggested that more powerful designs may be necessary to detect long-term effects of preparation and that the short-term benefits demonstrated warrant further study.