Therapist and supervisor competencies in cognitive behavioural therapy.

  Vol. 32 (6) 2011 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2011; 32(6): 781-789 PubMed PMID:  22286801    Citation  Keywords:  Cognitive Therapy:education, Health Personnel:education, Humans, Psychotherapy:education,.   

HYPOTHESIS: For cognitive behavioural therapy, acquisition and maintenance of psychotherapeutic and supervisory competencies is crucial.

METHODS: The PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases were searched for articles containing the following keywords: cognitive-behavioural therapy, competencies, therapeutic relationship, intervention, technique, training, supervision, self-reflection, empirically supported, transference, countertransference, scheme of therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy. The search was performed by repeating the words in different combinations with no language or time limitations. The articles were sorted and key articles listed in reference lists were searched. In addition, original texts by A.T. Beck, J. Beck, C. Padesky, M. Linehan, R. Leahy, J. Young, W. Kuyken and others were used. The resources were confronted with our own psychotherapeutic and supervisory experiences and only most relevant information was included in the text. Thus, the article is a review with conclusions concerned with competencies in cognitive behavioural therapy.

RESULTS: For cognitive behavioural therapy, four domains of competencies in psychotherapy are crucial - relationship, case assessment and conceptualization, self-reflection and intervention. These may be divided into foundational, specific and supervisory. The foundational competencies include recognition of empirical basis for a clinical approach, good interpersonal skills, ability to establish and maintain the therapeutic relationship, self-reflection, sensitivity to a difference and ethical behaviour. The specific competencies involve the skill of case conceptualization in terms of maladaptive beliefs and patterns of behaviour, ability to think scientifically and teach this to the patient, structure therapy and sessions, assign and check homework, etc. The supervisor's competencies include multiple responsibilities in supporting the supervisee, identification and processing of the therapist's problems with the patient, continuous development, increasing the supervisee's self-reflection, serving as an example and being as effective as possible in the role of a clinical instructor.

CONCLUSION: Both the literature and our own experiences underline the importance of competencies in cognitive behavioural therapy and supervision.

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