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}

The development of the Compassion Focused Therapy Therapist Competence Rating Scale

Objectives Compassion‐focused therapy (CFT) has shown promise as a treatment for a number of clinical presentations; however, existing studies have not adequately addressed issues of treatment fidelity. The aims of the present study were to identify initial candidate items that may be included in a CFT therapist competence rating scale and to develop the behavioural indicators to anchor these items. Design The Delphi method was used to develop and operationalize the competencies required for inclusion in a CFT therapist competence rating scale over five rounds. Methods Face‐to‐face meetings with two CFT experts were conducted in rounds one, two, and five, and these were used to define and operationalize the competencies. Nine other CFT experts were invited to complete online surveys in rounds two and four. An 80% consensus level was applied to the online surveys. Results The resulting Compassion Focused Therapy Therapist Competence Rating Scale (CFT‐TCRS) consisted of 23 competencies which were separated into 14 ‘CFT unique competencies’ and nine ‘Microskills’. There was high agreement about the included ‘CFT unique competencies’ and ‘Microskills’; however, there were some differences in opinion about the specific content of some items. Conclusions This is the first study that has attempted to reach consensus regarding the competencies and behavioural anchors for a CFT therapist competence rating scale. The next stage of development for the CFT‐TCRS is to establish whether the scale can be reliably and validly used to evaluate CFT practice. Practitioner points The Compassion Focused Therapy Therapist Competence Rating Scale (CFT‐TCRS) is the first scale to operationalize the unique and generic competencies required to deliver compassion‐focused therapy (CFT). The CFT‐TCRS can be used as a learning guide for delivering CFT training and with further development could be used to assess therapist competence for CFT training courses, clinical practice, and treatment fidelity in research trials.

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