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Clin Psychol Rev. 2007 Jul;27(6):682-95. Epub 2007 Jan 19.

Some methodological and statistical issues in the study of change processes in psychotherapy.

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  • 1University of Delaware, DE 19716-2577, USA.


As the number of psychotherapies with demonstrated efficacy accumulates, an important task is to identify principles and processes of change. This information can guide treatment refinement, integration, and future development. However, the standard randomized control trial (RCT) design can limit the questions that can be asked and the statistical analyses that can be conducted. We discuss the importance of examining the shape of change, in addition to the importance of identifying mediators and moderators of change. We suggest methodological considerations for longitudinal data collection that can improve the kinds of therapy process questions that can be examined. We also review some data analytic approaches that are being used in other areas of psychology that have the potential to capture the complexity and dynamics of change in psychotherapy.

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