Preliminary Findings on the Effects of Online Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Training on Therapist Competency
Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a contextual behavioral psychotherapy approach in which client behavior is shaped in the psychotherapy relationship and then generalized to out-of-session contexts. Efforts to train therapists in FAP have employed a parallel process, attempting to shape trainee behavior in an 8-week, live, online course in which trainees interact with each other in a series of experiential exercises. Previous research on the effects of this FAP training protocol have been hampered by reliance on trainee self-report and a lack of objective assessment of trainee behavior in actual sessions. In the current study, we developed and piloted an objective measure of FAP competency and employed it to assess outcomes in a FAP training study. Sixteen participants with a range of previous FAP training experiences were randomly assigned to an immediate FAP training or a waitlist-then-training group. Trainee self-report findings largely replicated findings from the previous study (Kanter, Tsai, Holman, & Koerner, 2012), with larger and more consistent effects found for trainees with fewer previous FAP training experiences. Objective assessment of in-session trainee behavior with the FAP Competency Scale suggested a significant effect of training, but these results were limited by missing data. These findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that engaging in a FAP training that functionally parallels the therapy process can enhance FAP therapist in-session competency.