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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Dec;67(6):837-46.

Therapist competence ratings in relation to clinical outcome in cognitive therapy of depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This study reports on the relationship of therapist competence to the outcome of cognitive-behavioral treatment in the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Outpatients suffering from major depressive disorder were treated by cognitive-behavioral therapists at each of 3 U.S. sites using a format of 20 sessions in 16 weeks. Findings provide some support for the relationship of therapist competence (as measured by the Cognitive Therapy Scale) to reduction of depressive symptomatology when controlling for therapist adherence and facilitative conditions. The results are, however, not as strong or consistent as expected. The component of competence that was most highly related to outcome is a factor that reflects the therapist's ability to structure the treatment.

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