My time as President of SAP (D29) is rapidly coming to an end, and I have enjoyed most of it, especially having the opportunity to hang out with so many wonderful people and have some tiny influence on leading this great and highly motivated group of people. I particularly want to give a shout out to Tracey Martin who does such a wonderful job of running the organization, herding cats, and keeping me on task.
As I near the end, I want to update you all on my Presidential Initiative, which is the Task Force on Psychotherapy Skills and Methods that Work. I have been most fortunate to work with John Norcross as the Co-Chair of this Task Force. He is a force of nature in his brilliance and work ethic. I also want to thank SAP, SCP, SPR, and SEPI for co-sponsoring this initiative, the Steering Committee (Castonguay, Rodriguez, Farber, Flückiger, Gomez, Friedlander, Miller, Spangler, Strauss, and Zilcha-Mano) for providing input and guidance, Oxford University for being willing to publish the book, and Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Research for being willing to publish the abbreviated versions as journal articles.
And, I want to thank the incredible set of authors who have written masterpieces about various skills and methods. We were honored that so many top people were willing to write chapters and suffer through our endless requests for edits. We have a stellar line-up of chapters. In one place, you’ll be able to learn the latest about the relation between skills/methods and outcomes. We couldn’t cover every skill and method, but we think we provide an interesting selection to give an overview of what we know.
This book is particularly meant for clinicians and trainees who are eager to learn about the latest evidence about skills and methods. We’ve also written it for researchers who want to learn more about how to study this complicated and rich topic. In addition, we hope to have some impact on policy makers who make decisions about which skills and methods to suggest.
In terms of the outline of the project, we start with the methodological issues surrounding the definitions, assessment, and analyses of skills/methods, and outcome.
Then, we have a number of chapters/articles on specific skills in relation to outcomes. First, we summarize some skills and methods from the previous relationships book (affirmation/validation, self-disclosure, immediacy, repairing ruptures by Norcross, Farber, Eubanks, Muran, Hill, & Knox). Then we have chapters/articles on questions (Williams), empathic reflections (Elliott, Bohart, Larson, Smolnick, & Muntigl), interpretations (Zicha-Mano, Keefe, Fisher, Dolev-Amil, & Barber), advice (Hill, Knox, & Duan), silences (Levitt & Morrill), paradoxical interventions (Peluso & Fruend), Socratic questions/guided discovery (Overholser), and paradoxical interventions (Peluso & Freund).
Next, we have a number of chapters/articles on specific methods. These include: dyadic synchrony (Atzil-Slonim, Imel, Soman, Zhang, & Paz), role induction (Swift, Penix, & Li), collaborative assessment methods (Aschieri, van Emmerik, Webbelink, & Kamphuis), routine outcome monitoring (Barkham, de Jong, & Delgadillo), dream work (Spangler & Sim), strengths-based methods (Flückiger), between session homework (Ryum, Bennian, & Kyzantzis), exposure (McKay), mindfulness/acceptance/meditation (Goldberg, Anders, Stuart-Major, & Kivlighan), behavioral activation (Cuijpers, Karyotaki, Harrer, & Stikkelbroek), cognitive restructuring (Esawa, Cohen, & Hollon), emotion regulation (Iwakabe), and chair work (Pascual-Leone & Baher).
Finally, we pull together what we know. More specifically, we asked members of the steering committee to review the evidence about the connections between the skills/methods and outcomes and provide judgments about whether the skill/method could be considered: “demonstrably effective,” “probably effective,” “neutral or mixed evidence,” “not effective” or whether there was “insufficient research to judge.”
In addition to the book and journal articles, we hope that the authors will present findings next year at APA, SPR, and SEPI.
I know the SAP will be in good hands with Jean Birbilis as President next year. Jean cares deeply about the SAP and has served for many years in various roles, so she knows what is going on. She will be working hard to restructure the organization. And then we can look forward to the Presidency of Tony Rousmaniere, who is so well known for his work on deliberate practice and will bring his energy and expertise to the position.
We have exciting webinars coming up free of charge for members. Now is a good time to encourage others join and support SAP.
Cite This Article
Hill, C. (2022). 2022 president’s column 57(4). Psychotherapy Bulletin, 57(4), 2-3.