Predicting psychotherapy outcome based on therapist interpersonal skills: A five-year longitudinal study of a therapist assessment protocol

Schöttke, Henning; Flückiger, Christoph; Goldberg, Simon B.; Eversmann, Julia; Lange, Julia (2016). Predicting psychotherapy outcome based on therapist interpersonal skills: A five-year longitudinal study of a therapist assessment protocol. Psychotherapy research, 26(3), pp. 1-11. Routledge 10.1080/10503307.2015.1125546

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Objective: In the past decade, variation in outcomes between therapists (i.e., therapist effects) have become increasingly recognized as an important factor in psychotherapy. Less is known, however, about what accounts for differences between therapists. The present study investigates the possibility that therapists' basic therapy-related interpersonal skills may impact outcomes. Method: To examine this, psychotherapy postgraduate trainees completed both an observer- and an expert-rated behavioral assessment: the Therapy-Related Interpersonal Behaviors (TRIB). TRIB scores were used to predict trainees' outcomes over the course of the subsequent five years. Results: Results indicate that trainees' with more positively rated interpersonal behaviors assessed in the observer-rated group format but not in a single expert-rated format showed superior outcomes over the five-year period. This effect remained controlling for therapist characteristics (therapist gender, theoretical orientation [cognitive behavioral or psychodynamic], amount of supervision, patient's order within therapist's caseload), and patient characteristics (patient age, gender, number of comorbid diagnoses, global severity, and personality disorder diagnosis). Conclusions: These findings underscore the importance of therapists' interpersonal skills as a predictor of outcome and source of therapist effects. The potential utility of assessing therapists' and therapists-in-training interpersonal skills are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Flückiger, Christoph

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1050-3307

Publisher:

Routledge

Language:

English

Submitter:

Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

02 May 2016 14:42

Last Modified:

02 May 2016 14:42

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/10503307.2015.1125546

Uncontrolled Keywords:

psychotherapy, therapist effects, observer ratings, expert ratings

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80470

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