Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

A systematic review of measures of therapist competence in psychodynamic, interpersonal, and/or relational models

Purpose Assessment of psychotherapeutic competence is increasingly regarded as important in the delivery of psychological services and training programmes. This article reviews tools designed to assess clinical competence in psychodynamic, interpersonal, and relational models of therapy. Methods PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science online databases were reviewed using terms relating to competence, psychotherapy, and measurement. Titles and abstracts of all articles were screened, and full texts of remaining articles were read. Reference lists of included articles were also screened. Papers that described a measure of psychotherapeutic competence in a psychodynamic, interpersonal, or relational model, and reported at least one assessment of the reliability and/or validity of the measure, were included. The quality of the studies was evaluated, and the quality of individual measures was summarized. Results Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria, examining 13 competence measures for 12 specific models of therapy. Competence measures were not found for several NICE‐recommended models of therapy. Some measures demonstrated strengths in certain areas of reliability and validity; however, there were a number of quality issues in development and psychometric properties that suggest none of the measures are currently proven for widespread use. Conclusions Further research is required to refine currently existing measures and develop new measures for key NICE‐recommended models of therapy. Practitioner points Assessment and improvement of therapist competence is key to provision of high‐quality psychotherapeutic interventions. This review shows there are few measures of competence in relational therapy models and several NICE‐recommended models do not have corresponding competence measures. Measures that do exist are mixed in terms of their validity and reliability and should therefore be used with caution.

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