Changes in Skills

Therapists undertaking SP/SR in pairs (Brisbane), and on their own (NQ), reported broadly similar changes in skills, especially in the non-specific categories.1 However, there are indications in the data that suggest that changes in the CT-specific skills (Refining specific CT skills, and Communicating the conceptual framework of CT) may be greater in the pairs group. We hypothesize that this is because, for the pairs, there is the added component of being in the therapist’s chair, which enables perceptions from the client’s chair about the value of the therapeutic relationship to be integrated with the actual delivery of the specific CT skills to a ‘‘real life’’ client. It is not that new CT skills are learned; it is that the existing ones are delivered with greater artistry, especially in the pairs group.

Are the results reported here consistent with the literature in the adjacent areas of personal therapy for therapists, and experiential training? The most consistent finding across both literatures is that personal experience with therapy techniques enhances empathy for clients, with the assumption that interpersonal and perceptual skills in therapy are thereby enhanced. In the present study, enhanced empathy was a common denominator underpinning changes in a number of categories (e.g. Empathic attunement, Communicating the conceptual framework of CT, Attention to the therapeutic relationship).

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