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Title: Exploring learning outcomes in CBT and existential therapy in Denmark
Author: Sørensen, Anders Dræby
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9900
Awarding Body: Middlesex University/New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2015
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The purpose of this thesis is to draw attention to the special characteristics of the outcome of psychotherapy through qualitative research. The thesis explores a phenomenological and hermeneutic enquiry into the lived experience of psychotherapy in terms of learning outcomes. This includes both Existential therapy (ET) and Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and their possible differences and similarities. I can describe learning as any experiential change that occurs in the participants understanding as result of the therapy in which they participate. Learning outcomes are concerned with the achievements of the learner rather than the intentions of the educator, as expressed in the objectives of an educational effort. The thesis uses Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a qualitative method to explore meanings of the learning phenomenon generated from themes found in transcripts of semi-structured interviews from twelve participants with an equal length of short time client experience of psychotherapy. That is, six participants who had attended CBT and six participants who had attended ET. Consistent themes from the data indicate that, overall, psychotherapy helps clients to enhance general learning in three major domains: (1) Self and life; (2) Thinking, acting and feeling; (3) Relationships with others. The data also indicates that ET overall helps clients to enhance particular learning of authenticity and insight into self, life and relationships with others with courage, engagement and freedom in an open and personal approach to difficulties and life issues. Furthermore, the data indicates that CBT overall helps the client to enhance particular learning of self-capability and self-esteem with independence in self-chosen relationships and capabilities for organized and appropriate approach to difficulties and life issues. Thus, ET is more oriented towards learning authenticity and self-positioning in life, whereas CBT is more oriented towards learning capabilities for organized and appropriate ways of thinking, acting and feeling. This research points to the value of the learning perspective for therapeutic practice and facilitates a model of psychotherapeutic learning with an understanding of learning outcomes based on motivational learning, learning to do with previous experiences, learning design for process, the therapeutic learning relationship and the educational role of the psychotherapist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available