2017 Winning Paper

Title: Therapeutic Technique of APA Master Therapists: Areas of Difference and Integration Across Theoretical Orientations

First Author: Seth Pitman, PhD

Seth Pitman received his PhD from The Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University and completed his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 2017. While a member of the Adelphi University Psychotherapy Project under the mentorship of Mark Hilsenroth, he developed research interests in the areas of psychotherapy process, psychological assessment, and personality.  He will begin the Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program and Fellowship in Hospital-Based Psychotherapy at Austen Riggs Hospital in September. He’s excited to move to the Berkshires with his wife, Julia, and their dog, Sharky.

Paper Abstract: This study utilized the American Psychological Association (APA) PsycTHERAPY digital video database of therapy masters working with participants on problems related to either anxiety or depression. Thirty-Four APA master sessions were included. Therapist Primary Orientation included Psychodynamic-Relational (P/R), Cognitive-Behavioral (CB), and Person Centered-Experiential (PC/E). All sessions were evaluated using the Comparative Psychotherapy Process Scale (CPPS) by four independent clinical raters who demonstrated excellent reliability in the ratings of therapist interventions. Results showed that P/R therapists utilized significantly more dynamic interventions than their CB counterparts, and CB therapists utilized significantly more cognitive-behavioral interventions than their P/R counterparts, as would be expected. PC/E sessions did not rate as highly on either dynamic or cognitive-behavioral interventions as either of these two therapist groups. Where appropriate, we also divided our primary orientation groups into Integrative (IN) and CB-3rd Wave master therapist sessions. IN therapists were found to use significantly more cognitive-behavioral techniques than P/R therapists and significantly more dynamic techniques than CB therapists. CB-3rd Wave therapists demonstrated a significantly greater integration (i.e. use) of dynamic interventions than the traditional CB therapists. Thus, these more integrative master therapists appear to be integrating techniques from across modalities, in line with their stated therapeutic aims.


Enter the Annual Division of Psychotherapy Student Paper Competition

Annual Deadline is April 1

The Jeffrey E. Barnett Psychotherapy Research Paper Award for the best paper that addresses psychotherapist factors that may impact treatment effectiveness and outcomes, to include type of training, amount of training, professional degree or discipline of the psychotherapist, and the role of psychotherapists’ personal characteristics.

What are the benefits to you?
  • Cash prize of $500 for the winner.
  • Enhance your curriculum vitae and gain national recognition.
  • Plaque and check presented at the Division 29 Awards Ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
  • Abstract will be published in the Psychotherapy Bulletin, the official publication of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.
What are the requirements?
  • Papers must be based on work conducted by the first author during his/her graduate studies. Papers can be based on (but are not restricted to) a Masters thesis or a doctoral dissertation.
  • Papers should be in APA style, not to exceed 25 pages in length (including tables, figures, and references) and should not list the authors’ names or academic affiliations.
  • Please include a title page as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document so that the papers can be judged “blind.” This page can include authors’ names and academic affiliations.
  • Also include a cover letter as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document. The cover letter should attest that the paper is based on work that the first author conducted while in graduate school. It should also include the first author’s mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
  • All applicants must be members of the Division of Psychotherapy. Join the Division at www.divisionofpsychotherapy.org
  • Applicant must specify for which award he/she is applying. Applicants can submit multiple papers for awards, but an individual paper may only be submitted for a single award.
Submissions should be emailed to:

Nicholas Morrison, Chair, Student Development Committee, The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy E-mail: nmorriso@psych.umass.edu

Download the PDF  for the Annual Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Student Paper Competition

Student Competition 2017

 


Previous Winners

2016 – Simon B. Goldberg, University of Wisconsin, “Do Psychotherapists Improve with Time and Experience?” An Analysis of Real World Outcome Data”

2014 – Harold Chui, University of Maryland, “In the Mood? Therapist Affect and Psychotherapy Process”

2013 – Lily A. Brown, University of California, Los Angeles, California, ”CBT Competence in Novice Therapists Improves Anxiety Outcomes”.  Additional Authors: Michelle G. Craske, Ph.D., Daniel E. Glenn, M.A., Murray B. Stein, M.D., M.P.H., Greer Sullivan, M.D., MSPH., Cathy Sherbourne, Ph.D., Alexander Bystritsky, M.D., Stacy S. Welch, Ph.D., Laura Campbell-Sills, Ph.D., Ariel Lang, Ph.D., M.P.H., Peter Roy-Byrne, M.D., Raphael D. Rose, Ph.D.

2012 -Erkki Heinonen, University of Helsinki, ”Therapists’ professional and personal characteristics as predictors of outcome in short- and long term-psychotherapy”

2011 – Laura Athey-Lloyd, MS, Long Island University, ”Interaction Structures Between a Child and Two Therapists in the Psychodynamic Treatment of a Child with Asperger’s Disorder”