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Br J Clin Psychol. 2001 Jun;40(Pt 2):131-41.

Moderators of trainee therapists' competence in cognitive therapy.

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1
Newcastle Centre for the Health of the Elderly, Castleside Unit, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 6BE, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A revised version of the Cognitive Therapy Scale (CTS-R) was developed and used in an ecologically valid study designed to examine the acquisition of competence in cognitive therapy (CT). The relationship of therapist and patient variables to changes in competence was examined. Unlike most previous research, this study defines effectiveness of training in terms of therapist competence rather than patient outcome.

DESIGN:

A longitudinal design was employed within a naturalistic setting. Trainees' competence (the dependent variable) was sampled on three occasions during a training course.

METHODS:

Twenty screened out-patients, who had been routinely referred to the Newcastle Cognitive Therapy Centre, were assigned to 20 postgraduate trainees receiving training in CT. Expert raters assessed trainees' competence at three points over the first 12 sessions of treatment using the CTS-R. The relationship of therapist and patient variables to changes in competence was examined. The patient measures used were the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Suitability for Short-Term Cognitive Therapy (SSCT).

RESULTS:

Three therapist factors were found to be related to competence: time (trainee therapists improving over the training period), previous experience with CT (those with most experience were most competent), and gender of the therapist (males improving at a greater rate than females). Therapist competence was also related to patients' suitability.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that previous CT experience is an advantage prior to attending an advanced training course, and also that careful patient selection helps trainees to demonstrate therapeutic competence.

PMID:
11446235
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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