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COGNITIVE THERAPY FROM THE INSIDE: ENHANCING THERAPIST SKILLS THROUGH PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

  • James Bennett-Levy (a1), Nicole Lee (a2), Katrina Travers (a3), Sonja Pohlman (a4) and Eisabeth Hamernik (a4)...

Abstract

Experiential training and personal therapy have rich traditions in various therapies as strategies to enhance self-awareness and therapist skills. However, personal experiential work has not traditionally been part of cognitive therapy (CT) training. The purpose of the present study is to map the impact of personal experiential work on CT skills in a group of CT practitioners. Fourteen cognitive therapists undertook training courses utilizing a structured approach to self-practice of CT techniques, known as self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR). Six therapists from one training group engaged in “co-therapy” sessions with a partner, while eight therapists from another training group practised CT techniques on their own. Both groups engaged in regular written reflections about their experience. Follow-up 1-5 months after the courses identified six areas of self-reported skill enhancement: Refinement of specific CT skills; Enriched communication of the conceptual framework of CT; Increased attention to the therapeutic relationship; Empathic attunement; Therapist self-reflection; and Therapeutic flexibility. The results suggested that SP/SR enhances the “professional artistry” of therapists, a finding consistent with literature suggesting that reflection is a key process in the development of therapist expertise. It is concluded that SP/SR represents a promising training strategy for cognitive therapists.

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Reprint requests to James Bennett-Levy, Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, Psychology Department, Warneford Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. E-mail: james.bennett-levy@oxmhc-tr.nhs.uk

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COGNITIVE THERAPY FROM THE INSIDE: ENHANCING THERAPIST SKILLS THROUGH PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

  • James Bennett-Levy (a1), Nicole Lee (a2), Katrina Travers (a3), Sonja Pohlman (a4) and Eisabeth Hamernik (a4)...

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COGNITIVE THERAPY FROM THE INSIDE: ENHANCING THERAPIST SKILLS THROUGH PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH

  • James Bennett-Levy (a1), Nicole Lee (a2), Katrina Travers (a3), Sonja Pohlman (a4) and Eisabeth Hamernik (a4)...
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