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October 2021

What's in a good moment: A hermeneutic study of psychotherapy values across levels of psychotherapy training

Author(s): Perrucci, A., Severns, J.

Journal/Book: Psychother Res. 1999; 9: 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012, USA. Guilford Publications Inc. 304-326.

Abstract: This study explored psychotherapy values among undergraduate psychology students, beginning psychotherapy trainees, advanced psychotherapy trainees, psychotherapy professionals, and the three authors. Employing a hermeneutic method, we interpreted values from participants' selections and descriptions of ''good moments'' within a videotaped psychotherapy session. Amidst considerable variability in both selected moments and interpreted values, we found the largest variability among professionals. A majority of participants valued therapy proceeding at a ''deep'' level, change in the client's assumptions, and lessened defensiveness and acceptance of responsibility. Most professionals valued a nonauthoritarian approach to therapy and awareness of client-therapist interactions, while few others did. A majority of less experienced trainees valued therapist actions that were positive and affirming of the client, while more experienced participants valued exploration and expression of the client's emotions. Empathy and client-therapist rapport were valued by all groups except advanced trainees. Our research is compared to survey studies of psychotherapy values.

Note: Article Walsh R, Duquesne Univ, 908 Rockwell Hall, Pittsburgh,PA 15282 USA


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