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Abstract

As the conceptualization of evidence-based practice expands beyond the phasic application of treatment manuals for specific mental health diagnoses, greater attention is being paid to treatment personalization, including at its very first steps. One approach to such early personalization involves therapist flexible responsivity to patients’ presenting nondiagnostic characteristics, such as their treatment-related beliefs, that are known to correlate with treatment outcomes. Such tailoring represents one element of the context-responsive psychotherapy integration framework that privileges the therapist’s use of evidence- informed strategies in response to specific patient characteristics and contextual process markers (Constantino, Boswell, Bernecker, & Castonguay, 2013). In this article, we map context-responsive psychotherapy integration principles onto a psychotherapy case illustration. Namely, we describe Alice E. Coyne’s attempt to navigate responsively a patient’s early outcome expectation and treatment credibility perception, both of which revealed the need to change course from an original treatment plan (despite that plan making good sense vis-a`-vis the patient’s diagnoses and initial positive reaction to the explanation of a specific treatment protocol). In addition, the case illustrates the influence that patient treatment beliefs can have on other early therapeutic processes, such as patient change ambivalence and resistance to the therapy, that also require therapist responsivity in the service of personalization.

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Coyne, A. E., Constantino, M. J., & Muir, H. J. (2019). Therapist responsivity to patients’ early treatment beliefs and psychotherapy process. Psychotherapy56(1), 11-15. doi: 10.1037/pst0000200

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