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What makes for a 'good' therapist? a review

Charman, Denise (2005) What makes for a 'good' therapist? a review. Psychotherapy in Australia, 11 (3). pp. 68-72. ISSN 1323-0921

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Abstract

Research has shown that the process of psychotherapy is as important, or is even more important, than the type of treatment. Indeed, the process of psychotherapy is influenced in the real world by therapists, with their own personas, clinical judgments and 'wisdoms'. This paper explores the evidence to identify the most salient interpersonal processes that predict good client outcomes, or at least avoid poor client outcomes. The difficulties in this endeavour include the fact that judgments about the effectiveness of psychotherapists by their peers and supervisors are not reliable. A selected review of the evidence supports therapists' beliefs that effectiveness is related to personal and interpersonal qualities of the therapist. However, these beliefs about effective therapists are generally idealised by therapists and get equivocal support from the evidence. On the other hand, evidence indicates that low levels of effectiveness are associated with 'poor' personal qualities, especially hostile introjects that get acted out in psychotherapy as active hostility and giving mixed messages to clients. There is a critical need to identify interpersonal qualities that ensure effectiveness as these do not appear to be modified by current training methods and are not well recognised by practitioners and researchers alike.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: clinical competence, psychotherapy, career choice, humans, personality, treatment outcome
Subjects: RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Depositing User: Ms Phung T Tran
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2009 10:28
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2011 02:59
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1394
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