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Psychother Res. 2012;22(1):115-26. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2011.631195. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

Patient change processes in psychotherapy: development of a new scale.

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Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


There is considerable interest in understanding and augmenting the process of change in psychotherapy. In this study qualitative and quantitative analyses were used to examine patient processes associated with change in recorded psychotherapy sessions from the Christchurch Psychotherapy for Depression Study. The sample consisted of 177 outpatients with a primary diagnosis of major depressive disorder randomized to receive weekly therapy sessions of Cognitive Behavior Therapy or Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Qualitative analyses identified four main themes associated with patient change. From these themes a 10-item rating scale, the Patient Psychotherapy Process Scale (PPPS), was developed. Analyses indicated the PPPS is a reliable and valid measure of important patient change processes, with higher scores associated with a better response to psychotherapy.

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