Issues in psychotherapy : a report of findings from interviews with practicing psychotherapists



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The current study examined several relevant psychotherapy issues by means of individual, face-to-face, tape recorded interviews with 25 doctoral level psychotherapists in private practice. The major content areas of interest were a) the valuation of research findings with regard to clinical practice, kind of studies that practioners would recommend he done, and amount and kind of self-scrutiny therapists use in evaluating their therapeutic efforts; h) the applicability of the concept of self-efficacy (Bandura, 197?) to psychotherapy by means of identifying a range of therapists" expectations of patients; and c) the idea of basic "change processes" involved in psychotherapy and the stages of this change. Research reviews of these areas were presented. In addition, the utility of the interview as a method of data collection was examined. Results supported those of previous investigations concerning the utilization of clinical research by practitioners; a substantial proportion of this population base their therapeutic efforts on subjective forms of evaluation rather than upon empirical research findings. However, a number of recommendations for future research were identified by the sample and are presented. A substantial range of therapists" expectations of patients was identified and presented, accomplishing a preliminary step in examining the concept of self-efficacy. The idea of change processes was examined and the conceptual model of change processes proposed by Prochaska (1979), and the issue of a maintenance period in the psychotherapy process was demonstrated to be an important and elevant issue to practioners. Finally, the utilization of an interview as the method of data collection appeared to be both productive and interesting. Prospects for future research in each of these areas were discussed.