The Psychological Record

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 627–637 | Cite as

Preliminary Findings on the Effects of Online Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Training on Therapist Competency

  • Daniel W. M. Maitland
  • Jonathan W. Kanter
  • Mavis Tsai
  • Adam M. Kuczynski
  • Katherine E. Manbeck
  • Robert J. Kohlenberg
Original Article


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.


Dissemination Functional Analytic Psychotherapy Competency Therapeutic relationship Training 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Daniel Maitland declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Jonathan Kanter declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Mavis Tsai declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Adam Kuczynski declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Katherine Manbeck declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Robert Kohlenberg declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

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.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel W. M. Maitland
    • 1
  • Jonathan W. Kanter
    • 1
  • Mavis Tsai
    • 1
  • Adam M. Kuczynski
    • 1
  • Katherine E. Manbeck
    • 1
  • Robert J. Kohlenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Center for the Science of Social ConnectionUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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