Practitioners' familiarity with psychotherapy research and their relative weighting of research and experience in formulating beliefs

Charles Miga Boisvert, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study examined practitioners' familiarity with psychotherapy research, the concordance between their research and experiential impressions, and the relative contribution of research and experience in formulating beliefs. In phase one, leading researchers were surveyed to determine the domain of knowledge in psychotherapy outcome research. These experts rated how confident they were that research supported a series of psychotherapy assertions. Strong consensus was achieved on a subset of items, which were then used as a yardstick by which to measure practicing clinicians' familiarity with the research. In phase two, 500 practitioners were sent a questionnaire containing these same psychotherapy assertions. A total of 181 usable surveys (36%) were returned. Subjects rated how confident they were that the assertions were supported by the research, by their experience, and the extent to which they believed the assertions. ^ Findings indicated that practitioners were familiar with some research findings but tended to be incorrect about, or unfamiliar with, other findings. Practitioners appeared to rely more strongly on their experiential impressions than their research impressions when arriving at beliefs. Lastly, research knowledge could not be predicted by years graduated, percentage of long-term clients, percentage of time conducting therapy, theoretical orientation, or perceived familiarity with research. Potential implications for science-practice relations in psychotherapy are discussed, such as implications for informed consent and for the conduct and teaching of psychotherapy. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Charles Miga Boisvert, "Practitioners' familiarity with psychotherapy research and their relative weighting of research and experience in formulating beliefs" (1999). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9960017.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI9960017

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