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PEER REVIEWED




The need for empirically supported
psychology training standards
J O H N M A L O U F F 		




  The scientific method makes many important contributions to society. It is on this basis that
  psychology training standards require universities to teach empirically supported psychotherapy
  methods to students. A logical extension of this premise is to apply the scientific method to
  the standards themselves. This article describes the need for empirically supported psychology
  training standards supported by well-designed studies which can demonstrate that individuals
  who receive training based on specific standards are more effective in their subsequent work
  than individuals who do not receive the training. Relevant studies published so far do not support
  the efficacy of current psychology standards. Future studies could use a variety of research
  designs to evaluate specific training standards. The conclusions of this study extend to training
  standards in the fields of psychotherapy and counselling.




I   n general, national psychology-
    training accreditation agencies
require universities to provide
                                          is more effective than a placebo, that
                                          multiple sources of data show the
                                          effects, that the advantage is a lasting
                                                                                       & McLeod, 2008), based on concerns
                                                                                       about the large financial and other
                                                                                       costs imposed on universities and
psychology students with training in      one, and that this advantage has been        psychology students by current training
empirically supported psychotherapy       found by multiple research groups            standards (Michael, Huelsman, &
methods. This is true in Australia        (Chambless & Hollon, 1998).                  Crowley, 2005). Hans Eysenck (1952)
(Australian Psychology Accreditation         Psychology accrediting agencies           threw down a similar challenge when
Council, 2010) and in the United States   typically do not justify in their training   he famously challenged researchers to
(American Psychological Association       standards the reason for requiring           test whether psychotherapy had any
Commission on Accreditation, 2009).       training in empirically supported            value. Thousands of researchers took
Although this article focuses on          treatment, but a basis can be found in       up the call and collected a wealth of
the training of psychologists,            the many important successes of the          supporting data (Lambert & Ogles,
accreditation agencies for the training   scientific method in psychology and in       2004). To apply these standards to
of psychotherapists and counsellors       many other fields of science. It would       the training requirements imposed
likewise require training programs        be logical to suggest that psychology        by accreditation agencies, one would
to provide training in empirically        training standards also should be based      say that empirically supported
supported psychotherapy methods (e.g.,    on published data. They are not.             requirements ought to have evidence,
British Association for Counselling          At some point, psychology                 from multiple research groups, that the
and Psychotherapy (BACP), 2009;           accrediting agencies must start to           requirements lead to better outcomes
Psychotherapy and Counselling             apply the scientific method to their         in the clients of students who were
Federation of Australia, 2012).           own professional decision making,            trained in programs that meet the
The minimal empirical support for         just as they encourage psychology            requirements.
psychotherapy methods typically           students to base decisions on evidence.         Is there published evidence of
includes evidence that the treatment      Psychologists have issued calls for          the efficacy of psychology training
is more effective than no treatment.      the collection of evidence about the         standards? The search for empirical
At higher levels, empirical support       effects of psychology training (Carey,       support of specific training standards
includes evidence that the treatment      Rickwood, & Baker, 2009; Gonsalvez           begins with identification of the goals


28        PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012
of the standards. Is it enough for          Fauth, Gates, Vinca, Boles, & Hayes         effect explains the results, it could be
students to demonstrate competence in       (2007) to conclude that changes in          that the training led to more effective
specified skills or should the standards    training are needed.                        treatment. It is unknown whether the
lead to better outcomes for future             Finally, two recent studies              improvement in outcomes continued
clients of the students? The ultimate       produced varying results. A study           after the end of training. Overall,
goal of standards is to benefit clients,    of psychotherapy-session outcomes           research findings provide little support
so it would be appropriate to measure       of student therapists in a clinical         for the idea that typical professional
client benefit (O’Donovan & Dawe,           doctorate program showed no                 training of psychologists leads to better
2002). This review focuses on effects of    association with number of years            outcomes for their psychotherapy
training standards on psychotherapy
outcomes. Other possible benefits of
the standards relating to assessment               Overall, research findings provide little
per se and ethics are beyond the scope
of this paper.                                   support for the idea that typical professional
Research findings                                   training of psychologists leads to better
Professional training in general
   With regard to client psychotherapy
                                                   outcomes for their psychotherapy clients.
outcome, there is relevant evidence
about the value of formal training
                                            of training completed (Boswell,             clients. 	
standards. Meta-analyses of studies of
                                            Casonguay, & Wasserman, 2010).                 A somewhat related body of research
treatments delivered to clients assigned
                                            However, a study of CBT training of         has examined whether differences
to either licensed psychologists or
                                            community psychologists over a year         among psychotherapists lead to
paraprofessionals show either that the
                                            showed that their depressed clients         differences in client improvement.
paraprofessionals had significantly
                                            that year improved more during the          The usual estimate from multilevel
better outcomes or that the two groups
                                            training year than their clients the        modeling is that therapist differences
were equal in outcomes (Berman &
                                            year before (Simons et al., 2010).          explain a modest amount of variance
Norton, 1985; Durlak, 1979; Hattie,
                                            While it is possible that a Hawthorne       (8% or so) in client outcomes (see e.g.,
Sharpley, & Rogers, 1984; Weisz,
Weiss, Han, Granger, & Morton,
1995).
   A meta-analysis by Stein &
Lambert (1995) using a subsample of
the studies used in prior meta-analyses
found evidence of better outcomes
for professional psychotherapists. The
authors stated that only one included
study was designed adequately to
control for confounding influences.
However, that one study, by Strupp
and Hadley (1979), did not have
random assignment of clients to
therapists. The Strupp and Hadley
study found the same therapy
outcomes for paraprofessionals
(university professors) and professional
psychotherapists.
   A more recent study also showed
equivalent therapy outcomes for
paraprofessionals (self-help group
members) and professionals (Bright,
Baker, & Neimeyer, 1999). Studies
such as the pre-post study of Bein et al.
(2000) of mental health professionals
receiving traditional psychotherapy
training, including teaching and
supervised experience, have shown
no lasting benefit with regard to
effectiveness with clients, leading
                                                                             Illustration: © Savina Hopkins, 2012. www.savinahopkins.com


                                                               PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012                  29
Lutz, Leon, Martinovich, Lyons, &           no research findings to show that           of quality psychotherapy. However,
Stiles, 2007). Those findings suggest       student supervision leads to better         there is no evidence that any of this
that factors that affect therapists,        client outcomes. Milne and James            coursework leads to better outcomes for
possibly including training standards,      (2000) concluded that their review of       future clients of the students.
could have at best a modest effect on       studies showed that clients benefitted
                                                                                        Research completion
client outcomes.                            from 'cognitive-behavioral' therapist
   The next matter to address is to         supervision, but the studies they cited         Research completion has not been
what extent specific training standards     did not support that conclusion. For        examined with regard to whether
have evidence of efficacy for client        instance, Parsons and Reid (1995),          it contributes to more effective
psychotherapy outcomes. Is it necessary     cited as showing that supervision           treatment by students, perhaps because
to show that fifty hours of supervision     benefitted clients, did not evaluate        no one thinks that it would. This
is better than thirty hours? Probably       clients. One recent study (Bambling,        requirement may be an anachronism
not. It would be beneficial, however,       King, Raue, Schweitzer, & Lambert,          left from bygone days when earning
to show that costly, time-consuming         2006) found that supervision directed       a degree beyond undergraduate
aspects of the training standards lead      at developing a working alliance            was supposed to make a person a
to better client outcomes. These aspects
include clinical experience, supervision,
coursework, and research completion.
                                                  There appears to be no evidence to suggest
Experience                                        that coursework and research completion,
   If one views psychotherapy as a
skill, psychotherapy experience seems
                                                   which make up a great deal of required
likely to be beneficial for improving
client outcomes. However, amount
                                                psychology training, have any value to future
of professional experience usually
does not correlate significantly with
                                                    psychotherapy clients of the students.
client therapy outcomes, according
to a careful review (Christensen &          with the client led to better outcomes      scholar, or it may be an application
Jacobson, 1994) and subsequent studies      with depression clients during              of the scientist-practitioner model of
(Franklin, Abramowitz, Furr, Kalsy,         the supervision, but there was no           training psychologists. One might
& Riggs, 2003; Kolko, Brent, Baugher,       examination of whether the effects          argue that there is nothing wrong
Bridge, & Birmaher, 2000; Michael,          lasted beyond the time of supervision.      with training standards that serve
Huelsman, & Crowley, 2005; Vocisano,        This promising finding has not been         purposes other than the well-being
Klein, Arnow, Rivera, Blalock, &            followed by anything similar. To            of future psychotherapy clients of the
Rothbaum, 2004), although it is             warrant the requirement of supervised       students. This is true as long as the
possible to find studies that show an       experience, one would want evidence         overall training serves the well-being
association (Beutler et al., 2004), and     from multiple research groups that          of those clients. Because there is so
one older meta-analysis found a small       compare students in training receiving      little evidence of that, it would be
but significant correlation between the     typical levels of supervision versus less   prudent for accrediting agencies to
level of therapist experience and client    supervision, with regard to their client    focus on standards that have empirical
outcomes (r = .11; Stein & Lambert,         outcomes after completion of training.      support for their benefit to consumers
1984). The meta-analyses which                                                          of psychological services.
show that paraprofessionals, who had        Coursework
                                                                                        Relevant research methods
virtually no psychotherapy experience,         The requirement of specific training
                                                                                        and possible studies
had outcomes at least as good as those      coursework seemingly would contribute
of professional psychologists (Berman       to psychotherapy client outcomes.               The best evaluation of the value
& Norton, 1985; Durlak, 1979; Hattie        However, much of the required               of training standards would involve
et al., 1984; Weisz et al., 1987, 1995)     coursework in psychology programs has       assigning psychotherapists randomly
suggest the possibility that professional   nothing directly to do with treatment.      to receive some required aspect of
experience has no effect.                   Instead, it tends to focus on statistics,   accredited training, or not, and
                                            psychopharmacology, and other topics        then assessing their success with
Supervision                                                                             randomly assigned clients. These
                                            with, at most, slight connections to
   Psychologists tend to view               helping others overcome psychological       studies would be especially valuable
supervision aspects of their training       problems. Parts of training typically       if they use validated measures to
as helpful (Orlinsky, Botermans,            relate to psychological testing.            collect outcome information from
& Ronnestad, 2001). However, the            Whether that has value to clients is        multiple sources, such as clients
outcome evidence regarding the value        beyond the scope of this paper. Parts       and observers (Chambless, 2001).
of clinical supervision is limited.         of coursework, such as those focusing       Intention-to-treat analyses can help
Holloway and Neufeldt (1995)                on psychotherapy methods, seem to           balance any differences between
concluded that there are virtually          have direct relevance to the provision      therapists in client drop-out rates


30        PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012
(see Atkins & Christensen, 2001).           Conclusion                                  available. This review presents several
These studies could assign students             This review has focused on              methods of data collection for the
randomly to some aspect of required         whether there is empirical support          evaluation of training standards.
training or not, keep everything else       for psychology training standards              One might make the argument that
the same for both groups, and then          in helping psychologists produce            present training standards are based
compare therapy client outcomes.            positive treatment outcomes for their       on the best available evidence, but
For instance, researchers could assign      psychotherapy clients. There appears        the standards appear to be based on
students randomly to 10 training cases      to be no evidence to suggest that           supposition rather than on evidence.
with supervision or 0 training cases        coursework and research completion,         Acting on the basis of evidence, rather
with supervision and then compare           which make up a great deal of required      than educated guesses helps a society
outcomes in subsequent clients treated      psychology training, have any value         make progress.
by the students. The study would            to future psychotherapy clients of          References
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384–391.



  AUTHOR NOTES

  JOHN MALOUFF, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioural, Cognitive
  and Social Sciences at the University of New England. His research interests include evaluating
  the efficacy of: methods of coping with stressors; types of psychotherapy; self-help materials for
  psychological problems; and, methods used to increase adherence to recommendations of health
  professionals. He also has an interest in researching methods for running organisational meetings and
  how to improve romantic relationships.
  Comments: jmalouff@une.edu.au


32         PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012

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The need for empirically supported psychology training standards (psychotherapy in australia malouff 2012)

  • 1. PEER REVIEWED The need for empirically supported psychology training standards J O H N M A L O U F F The scientific method makes many important contributions to society. It is on this basis that psychology training standards require universities to teach empirically supported psychotherapy methods to students. A logical extension of this premise is to apply the scientific method to the standards themselves. This article describes the need for empirically supported psychology training standards supported by well-designed studies which can demonstrate that individuals who receive training based on specific standards are more effective in their subsequent work than individuals who do not receive the training. Relevant studies published so far do not support the efficacy of current psychology standards. Future studies could use a variety of research designs to evaluate specific training standards. The conclusions of this study extend to training standards in the fields of psychotherapy and counselling. I n general, national psychology- training accreditation agencies require universities to provide is more effective than a placebo, that multiple sources of data show the effects, that the advantage is a lasting & McLeod, 2008), based on concerns about the large financial and other costs imposed on universities and psychology students with training in one, and that this advantage has been psychology students by current training empirically supported psychotherapy found by multiple research groups standards (Michael, Huelsman, & methods. This is true in Australia (Chambless & Hollon, 1998). Crowley, 2005). Hans Eysenck (1952) (Australian Psychology Accreditation Psychology accrediting agencies threw down a similar challenge when Council, 2010) and in the United States typically do not justify in their training he famously challenged researchers to (American Psychological Association standards the reason for requiring test whether psychotherapy had any Commission on Accreditation, 2009). training in empirically supported value. Thousands of researchers took Although this article focuses on treatment, but a basis can be found in up the call and collected a wealth of the training of psychologists, the many important successes of the supporting data (Lambert & Ogles, accreditation agencies for the training scientific method in psychology and in 2004). To apply these standards to of psychotherapists and counsellors many other fields of science. It would the training requirements imposed likewise require training programs be logical to suggest that psychology by accreditation agencies, one would to provide training in empirically training standards also should be based say that empirically supported supported psychotherapy methods (e.g., on published data. They are not. requirements ought to have evidence, British Association for Counselling At some point, psychology from multiple research groups, that the and Psychotherapy (BACP), 2009; accrediting agencies must start to requirements lead to better outcomes Psychotherapy and Counselling apply the scientific method to their in the clients of students who were Federation of Australia, 2012). own professional decision making, trained in programs that meet the The minimal empirical support for just as they encourage psychology requirements. psychotherapy methods typically students to base decisions on evidence. Is there published evidence of includes evidence that the treatment Psychologists have issued calls for the efficacy of psychology training is more effective than no treatment. the collection of evidence about the standards? The search for empirical At higher levels, empirical support effects of psychology training (Carey, support of specific training standards includes evidence that the treatment Rickwood, & Baker, 2009; Gonsalvez begins with identification of the goals 28 PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012
  • 2. of the standards. Is it enough for Fauth, Gates, Vinca, Boles, & Hayes effect explains the results, it could be students to demonstrate competence in (2007) to conclude that changes in that the training led to more effective specified skills or should the standards training are needed. treatment. It is unknown whether the lead to better outcomes for future Finally, two recent studies improvement in outcomes continued clients of the students? The ultimate produced varying results. A study after the end of training. Overall, goal of standards is to benefit clients, of psychotherapy-session outcomes research findings provide little support so it would be appropriate to measure of student therapists in a clinical for the idea that typical professional client benefit (O’Donovan & Dawe, doctorate program showed no training of psychologists leads to better 2002). This review focuses on effects of association with number of years outcomes for their psychotherapy training standards on psychotherapy outcomes. Other possible benefits of the standards relating to assessment Overall, research findings provide little per se and ethics are beyond the scope of this paper. support for the idea that typical professional Research findings training of psychologists leads to better Professional training in general With regard to client psychotherapy outcomes for their psychotherapy clients. outcome, there is relevant evidence about the value of formal training of training completed (Boswell, clients. standards. Meta-analyses of studies of Casonguay, & Wasserman, 2010). A somewhat related body of research treatments delivered to clients assigned However, a study of CBT training of has examined whether differences to either licensed psychologists or community psychologists over a year among psychotherapists lead to paraprofessionals show either that the showed that their depressed clients differences in client improvement. paraprofessionals had significantly that year improved more during the The usual estimate from multilevel better outcomes or that the two groups training year than their clients the modeling is that therapist differences were equal in outcomes (Berman & year before (Simons et al., 2010). explain a modest amount of variance Norton, 1985; Durlak, 1979; Hattie, While it is possible that a Hawthorne (8% or so) in client outcomes (see e.g., Sharpley, & Rogers, 1984; Weisz, Weiss, Han, Granger, & Morton, 1995). A meta-analysis by Stein & Lambert (1995) using a subsample of the studies used in prior meta-analyses found evidence of better outcomes for professional psychotherapists. The authors stated that only one included study was designed adequately to control for confounding influences. However, that one study, by Strupp and Hadley (1979), did not have random assignment of clients to therapists. The Strupp and Hadley study found the same therapy outcomes for paraprofessionals (university professors) and professional psychotherapists. A more recent study also showed equivalent therapy outcomes for paraprofessionals (self-help group members) and professionals (Bright, Baker, & Neimeyer, 1999). Studies such as the pre-post study of Bein et al. (2000) of mental health professionals receiving traditional psychotherapy training, including teaching and supervised experience, have shown no lasting benefit with regard to effectiveness with clients, leading Illustration: © Savina Hopkins, 2012. www.savinahopkins.com PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012 29
  • 3. Lutz, Leon, Martinovich, Lyons, & no research findings to show that of quality psychotherapy. However, Stiles, 2007). Those findings suggest student supervision leads to better there is no evidence that any of this that factors that affect therapists, client outcomes. Milne and James coursework leads to better outcomes for possibly including training standards, (2000) concluded that their review of future clients of the students. could have at best a modest effect on studies showed that clients benefitted Research completion client outcomes. from 'cognitive-behavioral' therapist The next matter to address is to supervision, but the studies they cited Research completion has not been what extent specific training standards did not support that conclusion. For examined with regard to whether have evidence of efficacy for client instance, Parsons and Reid (1995), it contributes to more effective psychotherapy outcomes. Is it necessary cited as showing that supervision treatment by students, perhaps because to show that fifty hours of supervision benefitted clients, did not evaluate no one thinks that it would. This is better than thirty hours? Probably clients. One recent study (Bambling, requirement may be an anachronism not. It would be beneficial, however, King, Raue, Schweitzer, & Lambert, left from bygone days when earning to show that costly, time-consuming 2006) found that supervision directed a degree beyond undergraduate aspects of the training standards lead at developing a working alliance was supposed to make a person a to better client outcomes. These aspects include clinical experience, supervision, coursework, and research completion. There appears to be no evidence to suggest Experience that coursework and research completion, If one views psychotherapy as a skill, psychotherapy experience seems which make up a great deal of required likely to be beneficial for improving client outcomes. However, amount psychology training, have any value to future of professional experience usually does not correlate significantly with psychotherapy clients of the students. client therapy outcomes, according to a careful review (Christensen & with the client led to better outcomes scholar, or it may be an application Jacobson, 1994) and subsequent studies with depression clients during of the scientist-practitioner model of (Franklin, Abramowitz, Furr, Kalsy, the supervision, but there was no training psychologists. One might & Riggs, 2003; Kolko, Brent, Baugher, examination of whether the effects argue that there is nothing wrong Bridge, & Birmaher, 2000; Michael, lasted beyond the time of supervision. with training standards that serve Huelsman, & Crowley, 2005; Vocisano, This promising finding has not been purposes other than the well-being Klein, Arnow, Rivera, Blalock, & followed by anything similar. To of future psychotherapy clients of the Rothbaum, 2004), although it is warrant the requirement of supervised students. This is true as long as the possible to find studies that show an experience, one would want evidence overall training serves the well-being association (Beutler et al., 2004), and from multiple research groups that of those clients. Because there is so one older meta-analysis found a small compare students in training receiving little evidence of that, it would be but significant correlation between the typical levels of supervision versus less prudent for accrediting agencies to level of therapist experience and client supervision, with regard to their client focus on standards that have empirical outcomes (r = .11; Stein & Lambert, outcomes after completion of training. support for their benefit to consumers 1984). The meta-analyses which of psychological services. show that paraprofessionals, who had Coursework Relevant research methods virtually no psychotherapy experience, The requirement of specific training and possible studies had outcomes at least as good as those coursework seemingly would contribute of professional psychologists (Berman to psychotherapy client outcomes. The best evaluation of the value & Norton, 1985; Durlak, 1979; Hattie However, much of the required of training standards would involve et al., 1984; Weisz et al., 1987, 1995) coursework in psychology programs has assigning psychotherapists randomly suggest the possibility that professional nothing directly to do with treatment. to receive some required aspect of experience has no effect. Instead, it tends to focus on statistics, accredited training, or not, and psychopharmacology, and other topics then assessing their success with Supervision randomly assigned clients. These with, at most, slight connections to Psychologists tend to view helping others overcome psychological studies would be especially valuable supervision aspects of their training problems. Parts of training typically if they use validated measures to as helpful (Orlinsky, Botermans, relate to psychological testing. collect outcome information from & Ronnestad, 2001). However, the Whether that has value to clients is multiple sources, such as clients outcome evidence regarding the value beyond the scope of this paper. Parts and observers (Chambless, 2001). of clinical supervision is limited. of coursework, such as those focusing Intention-to-treat analyses can help Holloway and Neufeldt (1995) on psychotherapy methods, seem to balance any differences between concluded that there are virtually have direct relevance to the provision therapists in client drop-out rates 30 PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012
  • 4. (see Atkins & Christensen, 2001). Conclusion available. This review presents several These studies could assign students This review has focused on methods of data collection for the randomly to some aspect of required whether there is empirical support evaluation of training standards. training or not, keep everything else for psychology training standards One might make the argument that the same for both groups, and then in helping psychologists produce present training standards are based compare therapy client outcomes. positive treatment outcomes for their on the best available evidence, but For instance, researchers could assign psychotherapy clients. There appears the standards appear to be based on students randomly to 10 training cases to be no evidence to suggest that supposition rather than on evidence. with supervision or 0 training cases coursework and research completion, Acting on the basis of evidence, rather with supervision and then compare which make up a great deal of required than educated guesses helps a society outcomes in subsequent clients treated psychology training, have any value make progress. by the students. The study would to future psychotherapy clients of References not be easy to do. It might require the students. There is evidence with American Psychological Association multiple research centres or multiple regard to the effects of experience and Commission on Accreditation (2009). years to have enough power to detect supervision, but the weight of evidence Guidelines and principles for accreditation differences in client outcome. It would at this point does not provide clear of programs in professional psychology. require either a large number of clients support of current training standards Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ed/ with similar problems, or a valid accreditation/about/policies/guiding- that relate to either experience or principles.pdf method to assess outcomes (e.g., client supervision. The relevant evidence goal achievement) across different in total does not show empirical Australian Psychology Accreditation types of problems. Many outcome Council (2010). Rules of accreditation and support for the contribution of current accreditation standards for psychology studies of types of psychotherapy have psychology training standards to courses. Retrieved from http://www. to overcome similar difficulties. positive outcomes for psychotherapy apac.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/ Weaker, but less complicated, quasi- clients (see Bickman, 1999; Mahrer, APAC_Rules_for%20_Accreditation_ analytic and correlational methods 1999). Whether the training standards and_Accreditation_Standards_for%20_ could provide valuable supplemental Psychology_Courses_Ver_10_June_2010. contribute to some other important pdf. evidence. In these studies, for instance: outcome for the public is beyond the 1) therapists who have received scope of this paper. Atkins, D. C., & Christensen, A. (2001). Is professional training worth the bother? some aspect of standard-required For accrediting agencies to A review of the impact of psychotherapy training, or not, could be assessed operate in the realm of the principles training on client outcome. Australian for their client outcomes; of evidence-based practice, they Psychologist, 36, 122–130. 2) therapists in training could must produce evidence to support Baker, K. D., & Neimeyer, R. A. be assessed for psychotherapy their standards. Psychotherapy (2003). Therapist training and client outcome early in the training is an important part of work as a characteristics as predictors of treatment and near the end; psychologist, and this evidence response to group therapy for depression. 3) therapists could be assessed Psychotherapy Research, 13, 135–151. needs to show that existing training for outcomes before and after standards contribute to psychotherapy Bambling, M., King, R., Raue, P., some specific training; outcomes. Although this article focuses Schweitzer, & Lambert, M. (2006). Clinical 4) the client success of therapists supervision: Its influence on client-rated on training standards set by psychology working alliance and client symptoms with different levels of some accredition agencies, the logic of the reduction in the brief treatment of major type of required training, such as argument applies also to psychology depression. Psychotherapy Research, 16, experience treating clients, could be training programs which operate under 317–331. assessed for client outcomes; and, the standards, and to government Bein, E., Anderson, T., Strupp, H., Henry, 5) students who are at different agencies that register or license W., Schacht, T., Binder, J., & Butler, S. levels of completion of a psychologists. Training programs that (2000). The effects of training in time- training program, e.g., those aim to be scientific in their orientation limited dynamic psychotherapy: Changes who have completed 1/4 of the in therapeutic outcome. Psychotherapy carry a responsibility to show that Research, 10(2), 119–132. program versus those who have the training they provide has positive completed 3/4, could be assigned benefits for future clients of the Berman, J. S., & Norton, N. C. (1985). Does psychotherapy clients randomly, professional training make a therapist students. The government agencies more effective? Psychological Bulletin, 98, with everything else the same have their own duty to act in the public 401–407. for both groups of students, interest in light of available evidence. followed by a comparison Beutler, L. E., Malik, M., Alimohamed, S., The present argument also applies Harwood, T. M., Talebi, H., Noble, S., & of treatment outcomes. to psychotherapy and counselling Wong, E. (2004). Therapist variables. In M. Similar findings from different accreditation and training programs. J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin and Garfields’s research groups would be especially It is time to start developing strategies handbook of psychotherapy and behavior valuable (Chambless, 2001). that will lead to an evidence-based change (5th ed., pp. 227-306). New York: Wiley. approach to training. This process may be difficult, complex, and lengthy, Bickman, L. (1999). Practice makes perfect and other myths about mental but appropriate research methods are PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012 31
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Effects Consulting Psychology, 16, 319–324. therapists produce better results? Journal of psychotherapy with children and Fauth, J., Gates, S., Vinca, M. A., Boles, of Child and Family Studies, 14, 223–236. adolescents revisited: A meta-analysis of S., & Hayes, J. A. (2007). Big ideas for treatment outcome studies. Psychological Milne, D., & James, I. (2000). A systematic psychotherapy training. Psychotherapy: Bulletin, 117, 450–468. review of effective cognitive-behavioral Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 44, supervision. British Journal of Clinical 384–391. AUTHOR NOTES JOHN MALOUFF, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology in the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at the University of New England. His research interests include evaluating the efficacy of: methods of coping with stressors; types of psychotherapy; self-help materials for psychological problems; and, methods used to increase adherence to recommendations of health professionals. He also has an interest in researching methods for running organisational meetings and how to improve romantic relationships. Comments: jmalouff@une.edu.au 32 PSYCHOTHERAPY IN AUSTRALIA • VOL 18 NO 3 • MAY 2012