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Some counsellors & psychotherapists are more effective than others

This is the third in a sequence of blog posts - "Therapist drift: black heresy or red herring - maybe not so important?", "Psychotherapy is helpful but has developed shockingly poorly over the last 30 yearsand now this one "Some counsellors & psychotherapists are more effective than others."  As you can see from the slide below, identification and study of highly successful therapists' methods and characteristics is an obvious area to explore much more fully, as it is almost certain to give leads on how we might make general improvements in psychotherapy's helpfulness.

Psychotherapy is helpful but has developed shockingly poorly over the last thirty years

I wrote a blog post recently on "Therapist drift: black heresy or red herring?" where I argued that current research evidence does not suggest that "therapist drift" is of much significance for either increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of psychotherapy.  As you can see from the slide below though, I felt that the whole debate about therapist drift is something of a red herring when one considers the huge challenges faced by psychotherapy as a whole:

Therapist drift: black heresy or red herring - maybe not so important?

I'm scheduled to give a talk at the Psychologists Protection Society AGM entitled "Therapist drift: black heresy or red herring?".  It seems the society has a Continuing Professional Development arm. They invite people to give lectures (there are a couple at this AGM) and then post them onto their Professional Practitioner online resource.  I was approached to talk and given a list of eight potential topics to choose from.

Truly excellent therapists have "grace under interpersonal pressure" - Fascinating new research

Hemingway wrote "Courage is grace under pressure".  New research underlines that "grace under interpersonal pressure" is a key ability of truly excellent therapists.  Study after study has shown that psychotherapists vary considerably in how helpful they are for their clients.  The slide below shows a typical set of findings:

                                       (downloadable as a Powerpoint slide and as a PDF file)

Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - what personal qualities distinguish more & less effective therapists? (6th post)

I have already written a blog post ... "Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - even more evidence that therapists themselves are central to improving outcome (5th post)" ... about the great last morning symposium "The singer and not the song? Evidencing therapist effects across the IAPT stepped care model".  I have described in some detail the first two symposium presentations ... Nick Firth's "Therapist effects and moderators of effectiveness and efficiency in psychological wellbeing practitioners: a multilevel modelling analysis" and Dave Saxon's "Variability in practice: therapist effects in an IAPT service delivering CBT and counselling".

Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - even more evidence that therapists themselves are central to improving outcome (5th post)

Yesterday was the third & last morning of this year's BABCP summer conference in Warwick.  I have already written about the second day in "Warwick BABCP conference: 2nd day - behavioural activation, Kyrios OCD, 'mind the gap', & DeRubeis on personalization (4th post)".  Overall, there were two particular presentations I was especially looking forward to coming to this conference and they have both delivered in spades.

Warwick BABCP conference: 1st morning - trauma memories & a master presentation on four decades of outcome research (2nd post)

Yesterday I blogged about the pre-conference workshop I attended on "Anger dysregulation". Today was the first full day of the conference proper.  Breakfast illustrated the kind of helpful, fun conversation that can emerge at this kind of event.  I talked to Fiona McFarlene & Tara Murphy who were going on to run a skills class on "Exposure and response prevention: adapting skills you already have to the treatment of tics".

Practice-based evidence can complement evidence-based practice so very well

Yesterday I wrote a blog post "Routine Outcome Monitoring can really help therapists clarify where they need to try harder".  Today's post extends this extremely important point.  About twenty years ago Howard and colleagues (Howard, Moras, Brill, Martinovich, & Lutz, 1996) introduced a crucial new approach for improving our outcomes.  They wrote "Treatment-focused research is concerned with the establishment of the comparative efficacy and effectiveness of clinical interventions, aggregated over groups of patients.

Routine Outcome Monitoring can really help therapists clarify where they need to try harder

I recently wrote a couple of blog posts - "Psychotherapy (and psychotherapist) outcomes are good but largely stagnant" and "Fascinatingly, therapists themselves vary considerably in their effectiveness".  In the second of these posts I commented "A paper published just last month (Green, Barkham et al.

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