Abstract(s) for Rome 2022

I september 2022 afholdes den internationale psykoterapiforskningskonference i Rom. Jeg er så heldig at skulle præsentere et studie om effekten af et Deliberate Practice-træningsprogram og erfaringerne derfra. Jeg ville have sendt to abstracts ind, men der var en begrænsning på blot et pr. primære forfatter. Begge abstracts kan læses nedenfor.

Getting better should be fun. Reports from a Deliberate Practice training program

Objective: Although still new within the field of therapist training, Deliberate Practice (DP) appears to be a promising approach to the development of e.g. therapist responsivity. Engaging in DP practices, however, requires not only time and resources, but also persistency and courage to expose one’s weaknesses. The aim of this study is to examine what may keep therapists engaged in DP routines.

Method: Six psychologists and psychotherapists participated in the training program Specific Utility, Personalized, Efficiency and Responsivity (SUPER) Training, which aims at strengthening therapist responsivity using roleplaying, video stimuli and feedback. The Facilitative Interpersonal Skill task (FIS) was used before and after the program with observational rating to measure the effect of the course. In addition, participants filled out qualitative evaluation forms of participants’ perception of the program to examine what may drive or hinder therapist engagement in DP routines, analyzed using Thematic Analysis.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that DP is initially hard to grasp for the participating therapists. As the training becomes more familiar, however, their insight into the possibilities of personalized training practices increases and so, it seems, does the reward of DP engagement. The possibility for personalizing training grows, and so do the pleasures of training. Getting better can be fun.

Discussion: The advantages of implementing DP as a training routine in the working lives of practicing psychologists, as well as initiatives to maintain DP engagement, will be discussed at the conference.

An excellence model within the field of Deliberate Practice for psychotherapists - a comparative theoretical analysis

Objective: Deliberate Practice is a special type of training practice that is purposeful and systematic with the aim of improving performance. Research supports the claim that DP improves performance, and it is considered the road to excellence. In recent years, Deliberate Practice based approaches to training have been increasingly used within the field of psychotherapy. However, to this day, there is no coherent model that depicts the characteristics of the excellent therapist that can be used as a theoretical role model for therapists who engage in Deliberate Practice. The aim of this paper is to present such an excellence model for psychotherapists.

Method: A comparative theoretical analysis is made between the excellent musician of improvisatory rhythmical music and the excellent psychotherapist.

Result: A three-component model emerged. The first component is a strong connection with the instrument, and for psychotherapist this is the voice and body used for performing therapy. In psychotherapy, the instrument is the therapist herself. The second component is to master a broad variety of skills, and the third is to combine the first two components in interaction with others. These are all considered essential elements for the excellent psychotherapist.

Discussion: The excellence model presented gives trainees a vision to follow, and the first component - the deep connection to/with the instrument – seems especially important in order to avoid responsivity that is non-responsive due to the lack of therapist authenticity, which is a serious concern when training focusing primarily on skill improvement.

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