Why It Is Important To Know How To Choose The Therapeutic Approach In Psychology

The importance of knowing how to choose the therapeutic approach in Psychology

You finish university and begin to carry out the necessary procedures to be able to have the permits and professional skills to practice the profession you chose and inspire you to work.

You have your first patient; It is, possibly, the next most anxiously motivating experience you will have after supporting your research work in front of a jury.

Your patient tells you what ails them, how they feel, what they think and what they would like to achieve with your help. You respond with confidence and conviction that you can help him solve his problem.to feel less distressed, to overcome this whole situation that has brought him to consultation, that has made him choose psychotherapy as a form of help and well-being.

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The importance of choosing the right therapeutic approach

For a second consultation, you need to have an outline of the intervention plan that you will work on with your patient. (regardless of whether you will work on evaluation and diagnosis with him or her), and perhaps that is when you realize that you do not know very well how to translate the knowledge obtained in your professional training into viable and understandable answers for your patient.

If this has happened to you, or something similar, you surely already know that you are neither the first nor the last colleague to experience or experienced a situation like this. Prenlu invites you to participate in the course “Guide to choosing the therapeutic approach that your patient needs”, where a treatment plan model will be shared considering the main contributions of various psychological schools. To learn more, contact Prenlu.

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A contradiction in Psychology training

Unfortunately, the various studies carried out over the years regarding the importance of conducting research in psychotherapy show us two contradictory panoramas. On the one hand, the interest of students in recent years in dedicating themselves to caring for patients, that is, to performing psychotherapy when they finish their studies, is considered. And, on the other hand (which is really the other side of the coin), the little interest in reading and/or developing research in psychotherapy.

This contradiction can be interpreted in various ways: public and private universities have a study plan that, in general, does not include curricular experiences to conduct research on psychotherapy; There is still a considerable percentage that leans towards the clinical area, which, in turn, is more oriented towards the treatment of patients or clients; There is greater interest in training in a psychotherapeutic approach than in knowing its effectiveness using scientific methodology or some method that is comparable with respect to its validity and reliability.

However, it is possible to refer to some research that has shed light on this uneven and poorly updated path of psychotherapy.

Non-therapy-specific factors

The importance of non-specific factors in therapy

The research of Safran and Segal (1994, cited in Moncada and Kühne, 2003) highlighted the importance of non-specific factors in psychotherapy. Among these factors are: the therapeutic relationship, the patient’s expectations and the therapeutic alliance. These factors are also called common factors, because they are coupled to all psychotherapeutic approaches, since they do not link their actions with the theoretical bases on which their praxis is based.

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Also worth noting is the research by Barber, Connolly, Christoph, Gladis & Siqueland (2000) that highlights the therapist-patient relationship as an important non-specific factor in achieving therapeutic change. In this study, carried out with patients who had been diagnosed with depression, it was found that the alliance with the psychotherapist was a significant predictor for remission of depressive symptoms.

And, if non-specific factors are mentioned, it is also relevant to mention the specific ones, those that include the specific techniques and procedures of application and development within the psychotherapeutic sessions. According to Lambert (1986; cited in Poch and Ávila, 1998), the common factors predict the success of psychotherapy by 30%, while the specific factors do so by 15%, a considerable and reaffirming difference, taking into account that the Early research on psychotherapy demonstrated its effectiveness in general terms, regardless of the approach and modality of application.

Thus, we can see that psychotherapy research plays a motivating role in developing and improving psychotherapeutic work.

To this end, it is important to consider the characteristics that research must meet in order to obtain reliable results for a therapeutic approach to be considered effective. Chambless & Hollon (1998; cited in Moncada and Kühne, 2003) refer to these requirements as “evidence-based psychotherapy,” which establishes clear parameters when conducting psychotherapy research.

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The need to focus on what makes psychotherapy effective

Given these requirements, Kaechele (2000) reinforces the idea of ​​analyzing these results criterially to avoid falling into mechanized treatments and depersonalizing the patient as well as the therapeutic work, recommending base psychotherapeutic work on the available evidence that the various approaches offer.

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This same author invites reflection on assuming a more responsible and careful role when working on psychotherapy, emphasizing that society is increasingly interested in the effectiveness of the treatment in relation to the expenses that must be included in their budgets.

Finally, Kaechele recommends increasing studies sectoring specific populations and disorders in each socio-cultural reality, since it is evident from the results of different investigations that, in general, psychologists are not interested in knowing about or developing them. And the most alarming thing is that those colleagues who do, “are hardly willing to modify their beliefs or their way of doing psychotherapy because of what the research says” (Kaechele, 2000; Beutler, Moleiro & Talebi, 2002).

Thus, It is important to investigate, develop and/or update viable ways to make psychotherapy effective.. It is a mutual benefit that will not only increase professional work, but will also strengthen the therapist-patient bond, so relevant to achieving what initially inspired many to study psychology: reducing people’s suffering and truly helping them improve their health. mental.

If you want to learn about the main therapeutic approaches and other less popular ones, Prenlu invites you to participate in the course “Guide to choosing the therapeutic approach that your patient needs”, where you will learn to design an action plan using practical tools that will facilitate the list of objectives therapeutics in the short, medium and long term.