The Therapists’ Training and Their Attitudes Towards Therapy as Predictors of Therapeutic Interventions

Abstract

Previous results have demonstrated that psychotherapists working in a practice setting have a relatively low treatment adherence, regardless of the therapy school to which they were affiliated. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the therapist’s attitudes in therapeutic matters are a better predictor of interventions employed than the therapeutic method in which the therapist was trained. The relationships between various types of psychotherapeutic intervention and both predictors were tested by means of Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. A total of 162 therapy sessions conducted by 18 therapists affiliated to 6 different therapeutic methods were analyzed. The interventions were classified according to the criteria of essentiality and commonality. The analysis showed that 40% of the examined intervention types were significantly associated with at least one of the nine attitude scales considered, whereas only 14% exhibited a significant association with the completed type of therapy training. The latter predictor was only associated with interventions of the kind essential/not common, whereas the attitude scales were related with both essential and common interventions. The rather weak association between the type of completed training and preferred therapeutic intervention types means that many essential intervention techniques acquired during training assume a subordinate role in a practice setting. Choice of therapeutic action is conditioned to a greater extent by nuances in individual attitudes, which may change throughout a professional career. The reciprocal influence of a psychotherapist’s attitude and his or her professional development is discussed.

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Funding

This work was supported by a grant from an anonymous spender arranged by the Department of Health of the Canton Zurich.

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Correspondence to Aureliano Crameri.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. A research application was submitted to the ethics committees of each of the Swiss cantons in which the project was carried out; all of the applications were approved.

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Crameri, A., Tschuschke, V., Koemeda, M. et al. The Therapists’ Training and Their Attitudes Towards Therapy as Predictors of Therapeutic Interventions. J Contemp Psychother 50, 67–76 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-019-09421-y

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Keywords

  • Therapy training
  • Therapeutic techniques
  • Theoretical orientation
  • Bayesian analysis
  • Psychotherapy integration