Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ten principles/points for critiquing psychotherapy research

Most of the psychotherapy researchers focus exclusively on various clinical interventions but they fail to acknowledge psychotherapists who utilize their research findings. In most cases, these researchers do not find the relevance of the experiences, skills and personality of therapists. This essay describes some of the features that psychotherapy researchers should know in order to ensure that the various treatment groups are accorded the much needed interventions.
One of the critical issues affecting psychotherapy research is the lack of proper supervision and training. This is caused by the absence of a research literature body that can compare the appropriateness of the methods used in training and supervision. Most of the training models used in psychotherapy research are traditional in nature. In addition, majority of the supervisors normally use their personal experiences to supervise psychotherapy research. It is also pertinent to note that training programs do not concentrate much on the topic under supervision. Piper (2004) argues that in order to come up with a valid psychotherapy research, there is need to use a simple and appropriate approach that is capable of addressing all the implications associated with psychotherapy research. Specifically, a straightforward approach should be adopted since it is capable of providing a therapy list with more efficacy evidence.
Another critique to psychotherapy research is that these researchers aim at maximizing the treatment power. This implies that efforts are only put in place to countercheck the factors that affect therapists. The latter is executed by developing treatment manuals that can be used collectively on patients from a specific diagnostic group. It is evident that this type of research approach is not capable of providing the necessary attention especially on the curative roles that are linked to functions of therapists largely due to the fact that it appears to be independent of the available treatment procedures and models.
Psychotherapy research can also be assessed in terms of the clinical trials that aim at controlling the effects of therapy. This practice is desired mainly because it may reach a point where all therapists in a trial are able to operate at equal levels. This ensures that therapist effects are taken as error sources rather than treating them like variance sources.
Psychotherapy research mainly involves brief therapies and fails to recognize the need for long-term therapies. The research reports are written tentatively and contain major limitations that do not provide any form of inspirational confidence to the clinicians.
Psychotherapy research can also be criticized in terms of the research element itself which seems to be driven more by political reasons and funding patterns other than being based on the true promise of improving psychotherapy.
The developers of models used in conducting psychotherapy research are more interested in showing the relevance of their models. This might be attributed to the pressure subjected to the developers especially when they are expected to add credibility to the treatment approaches.
Psychotherapy research is also criticized from the perspective of relevance of scientific measures that may not be available. These researchers also focus more on the therapeutic techniques and fail to recognize the value of relationships between clients and therapist. Lastly, researchers usually ignore some of the key variables that help in making sure that the psychotherapy study is more manageable. The studies that need to be incorporated in psychotherapy complexities are also rarely done.  

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