Common Factors Come Alive: Practical Strategies for Implementing Common Factors in MFT Training
- 611 Downloads
Presently, MFT training programs teach MFT models in a way that emphasizes differences over similarities (Karam et al. in J Marital Fam Ther, 2015. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12096; Sprenkle and Blow in J Marital Fam Ther 30:113–129, 2004a. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2004.tb01228.x, in J Marital Fam Ther 30:151–157, b. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2004.tb01230.x; Sprenkle et al. in Common factors in couple and family therapy: the overlooked foundation for effective practice. Guilford Press, New York, 2009). Although teaching a variety of models and their distinctiveness is vital, doing so may create a competitive rather than integrative relationship between models (Karam et al. 2015). While Karam et al. 2015 encourage the inclusion of common factors in MFT training, we expand their justification for the importance of doing so We also explain conceptual and practical ways to include common factors in MFT training. Common factors instruction can fulfill multiple purposes: (a) create a sense of cohesiveness for programs which need to teach breadth of topics that can seem unrelated, (b) help prepare practitioners who need to learn many models well but will likely adopt an integrative approach, (c) align with basic skills training, (d) align with process research, and (e) enhance the richness of individual models. For each of these purposes, we provide an example of a classroom activity. We conclude with a unifying example of how one student may learn the common-factors perspective and weave it into her reflective practices as an MFT student.
KeywordsCommon factors Clinical training Marriage and family therapy
- Blow, A., Morrison, N., Tamaren, K., Wright, K., Schaafsma, M., & Nadaud, A. (2009). Change processes in couple therapy: An intensive case analysis of one couple using a common factors lens. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 35, 350–368. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2009.00122.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Castonguay, L. G., & Beutler, L. E. (2006). Principles of therapeutic change that work. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Cornille, T. A., McWey, L. M., Nelson, T. S., & Hernandez West, S. (2003). How do master’s level marriage and family therapy students view their basic therapy skills? An examination of generic and theory specific clinical approaches to family therapy. Contemporary Family Therapy, 26, 41–61. doi: 10.1023/A:1022506004673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- D’Aniello, C. (2013). Contemporary MFT models' alignment with relational common factors. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35, 673–683. doi: 10.1007/s10591-013-9260-8.
- D’Aniello, C. (2015). Common factors as a road map to MFT model integration: Implications for training therapists. Contemporary Family Therapy, 37, 176–182. doi: 10.1007/s10591-015-9338-6.
- Davis, S. D., & Piercy, F. P. (2007a). What clients of couple therapy model developers and their former students say about change, part I: Model-dependent common factors across three models. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33, 318–343. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00030.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Davis, S. D., & Piercy, F. P. (2007b). What clients of couple therapy model developers and their former students say about change, part II: Model-dependent common factors across three models. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33, 344–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00031.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Duncan, B. L., Hubble, M. A., & Miller, S. D. (1996). Escape from Babel: Toward a unifying language for psychotherapy practice. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Duncan, B. L., Miller, S. D., Sparks, J. A., Claud, D. A., Reynolds, L. R., Brown, J., & Johnson, L. D. (2003). The session rating scale: Preliminary psychometric properties of a “working” alliance measure. Journal of Brief Therapy, 3, 3–12.Google Scholar
- Duncan, B. L., Miller, S. D., Wampold, B. E., & Hubble, M. A. (Eds.). (2009). The heart and soul of change: Delivering what works in therapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Gordon, R. (2012). Where oh where are the clients? The use of client factors in counseling psychology. Counseling Psychology Review, 27(4), 8–17. ISSN: 02696975.Google Scholar
- Johnson, L. D., Miller, S. D., & Duncan, B. L. (2000). The session rating scale 3.0. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved from http://www.scottdmiller.com/performance-metrics/.
- Karam, E. A., Blow, A. J., Sprenkle, D. H., & Davis, S. D. (2015). Strengthening the systemic ties that bind: Integrating common factors into marriage and family therapy curricula. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12096. Retrieved on November 20, 2014 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmft.12096/pdf.
- Kneer, M., Bartle-Hering, S., McDowell, T., Adkins, K., Delaney, R. O., Gangamma, R., et al. (2011). The impact of initial factors on therapeutic alliance in individual and couples therapy. Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, 37, 182–199. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2009.00176.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lambert, M. J. (1992). Implications of outcome research for psychotherapy integration. In J. C. Norcross & M. R. Goldfried (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy integration (pp. 94–129). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Lambert, M. J., & Ogles, B. M. (2004). The efficacy and effectiveness of psychotherapy. In M. J. Lambert (Ed.), Berginand Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed., pp. 139–193). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lebow, J. (2008). Twenty-first century psychotherapies: Contemporary approaches to theory and practice. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Lebow, J. (2013). Couple and family therapy: An integrative map of the territory. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Miller, S. D. & Duncan, B. L. (2000). The outcome rating scale. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved from http://www.scottdmiller.com/performance-metrics/.
- Miller, S. D., Duncan, B. L., Brown, J., Sparks, J. A., & Claud, D. A. (2003). The outcome rating scale: A preliminary study of the reliability, validity, and feasibility of a brief visual analog measure. Journal of Brief Therapy, 2(2), 91–100.Google Scholar
- Nelson, T. S., Chenail, R. J., Alexander, J. F., Crane, D. R., Johnson, S. M., & Schwallie, L. (2007). The development of core competencies for the practice of marriage and family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33, 417–438. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00042.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Perkins, S. N. (2010). Influential client factors: Understanding and organizing therapists' perceptions of client factors that influence reported outcome of therapy. Retrieved from ProQuest (DP19299).Google Scholar
- Pinsof, W. M., & Lebow, J. (2005). Family psychology: The art of the science. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Shadish, W. R., Ragsdale, K., Glaser, R. R., & Montgomery, L. M. (1995). The efficacy and effectiveness of marital and family therapy: A perspective from meta-analysis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 21, 345–360. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.1995.tb00170.x.
- Smith, M. L., & Glass, G. V. (1977). Meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcome studies. American Psychologist, 32, 752–760. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.32.9.752.
- Sprenkle, D. H., Blow, A. J., & Dickey, M. H. (1999). Common factors and other non-technique variables in MFT. In M. A. Hubble, B. L. Duncan, & S. D. Miller (Eds.), The heart and soul of change: What works in therapy (pp. 329–360). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sprenkle, D. H., Davis, S. D., & Lebow, J. L. (2009). Common factors in couple and family therapy: The overlooked foundation for effective practice. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Taibbi, R. (1996). Doing family therapy: Craft and creativity in clinical practice. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Wampold, B. E. (2001). The great psychotherapy debate: Models, methods and findings. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- White, M., & Epston, D. (1990). Narrative means to therapeutic ends. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
- Woolfe, R., & Palmer, S. (2000). Integrative and eclectic counseling and psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar