The professional and personal characteristics of effective psychotherapists : a systematic review

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/315679

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Heinonen , E & Nissen-Lie , H A 2020 , ' The professional and personal characteristics of effective psychotherapists : a systematic review ' , Psychotherapy Research , vol. 30 , no. 4 , pp. 417-432 . https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2019.1620366

Title: The professional and personal characteristics of effective psychotherapists : a systematic review
Author: Heinonen, Erkki; Nissen-Lie, Helene A.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Date: 2020-05-18
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Psychotherapy Research
ISSN: 1050-3307
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/315679
Abstract: Objective: Psychotherapists differ notably in the outcomes their patients achieve, and the characteristics that may explain these differences have attracted increasing interest. We systematically review studies on therapist pre-treatment characteristics predicting patient outcomes. Method: Systematic searches on databases for psychotherapy research, clinical psychology, and medical science for the years 2000-2018 identified published research examining therapist characteristics and psychotherapy outcomes. Of 2041 studies, 31 met inclusion criteria. Results: Findings show a few direct effects of therapist intrapersonal variables (e.g., self-relatedness, attachment) and several interaction effects with other constructs (e.g., patient pathology) on outcome. There is little support for the relevance of self-rated social skills. However, more consistent evidence has recently emerged for performance-based measurements of professional interpersonal skills, especially when elicited in challenging situations. Patient outcomes were also predicted by therapists' self-rated professional characteristics, such as their experienced difficulties in practice, coping mechanisms, and attitudes towards therapeutic work, indicating that therapist self-perception also matters, although not always in the direction expected. Conclusions: More effective therapists seem characterized by professionally cultivated interpersonal capacities, which are likely rooted in their personal lives and attachment history. Research guidelines are proposed for moving this field forward (including larger samples, multilevel modeling, and in-depth qualitative work).
Subject: therapist characteristics
therapist effects
outcome
systematic review
FACILITATIVE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
THERAPIST ATTACHMENT STYLE
COUNTERTRANSFERENCE MANAGEMENT
PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
PATIENT OUTCOMES
ALLIANCE
PREDICTORS
RESPONSIVENESS
MINDFULNESS
515 Psychology
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