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Title: Evaluating the effectiveness of Conversational Therapy skills training for Psychological Well-Being Practitioners
Author: Taylor, Anna
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this thesis was to explore whether a training package based on Conversational Therapy is effective in enhancing empathy within Psychological Well-Being Practitioners (PWPs). The thesis is presented as four separate papers. Paper One is a narrative review of the literature on training empathy to psychological therapists, including other factors which are considered to enhance empathy. The review highlights that as empathy is a multi-faceted concept, different approaches are required to enhance certain elements. An apparent combination of experiential learning with feedback and clinical practice combined with clinical supervision is required for empathy to be enhanced. However, further research is required into the effectiveness of empathy training for qualified psychological therapists. Paper two is a qualitative study exploring the experiences of PWPs learning and putting into practice the skills taught within the training programme. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fourteen PWPs. Data was analysed using a thematic analysis and themes were generated relating to PWPs experiences of the training and learning the techniques. The results suggest that learning more conversational and relational techniques supplemented PWPs current way of working. The training appeared to help increase their empathy and understanding of clients presenting difficulties. Some improvements to the job satisfaction and self-efficacy of PWPs were also apparent. Adopting the techniques did however pose some challenges, especially in relation to moving away from a PWPs current practice. Paper three is an empirical service evaluation of the effects of the skills training on clinical outcomes. The evaluation did not find any significant results, however findings relating to a reduction in non-attendance in sessions were promising. Possible explanations and interpretations of the findings are discussed alongside suggestions for future research. Paper four is a critical reflection of the processes involved in conducting the project. This paper provides further detail on the methodology and decision making processes which took place within the research, alongside considering the strengths, limitations, implications and suggestions for future research. This paper concludes with personal reflections on the thesis project.
Supervisor: Brown, Richard ; Danquah, Adam Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: IAPT ; Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy ; Therapist education ; Psychological Well-being Practitioners ; Empathy ; Training