Plovdiv Hall - Marinela

General Mental Health

Camellia Hancheva, Sarah Bateup, Maria Elena Hernandez Hernandez, Natasa Jokic-Begic / Jonathan Huppert (Chair) Speaker

10:30 Mentalization and empathy: Stability and/or change in psychotherapy trainees

Camellia Hancheva, PhD, Sofia University

10:45 Why are some CBT therapists better than others?
Sarah Bateup, Ieso Digital Health and Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

11:00 Do patients’ mood and gender affect the way we deliver CBT? An experimental, vignette-based study of the relevance of patient and clinician characteristics.

Maria Elena Hernandez Hernandez, Glenn Waller, University of Sheffield

11:15 Therapist attitudes towards using modern technologies in psychotherapy and counselling

Natasa Jokic-Begic, Clinical and Health Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia; Branka Bagaric, Croatian Association for Behavioral-Cognitive Therapies (CABCT)

11:30 Discussion


1) Mentalization and empathy: Stability and/or change in psychotherapy trainees

Camellia Hancheva, PhD, Sofia University

The aim of the study is to assess mentalizing and empathizing abilities of people in training for psychotherapists. Capacity to reflect upon personal and others’ experience and interactions is an important variable in emotional regulation and social interactions. It is considered a key component in psychotherapeutic process. Research question is focused on revealing dynamic of empathy and reflexivity during psychotherapy trainings. Inclination and capacity to think about mental phenomena and mastery of it are assessed by self-report instruments and performance based tests.

Design and Method:
A longitudinal design is planned to follow changes or stability in mentalizing and empathy for the period of training and early stages of professional development. Combination of self-report and performance-based tests are to be applied twice for the first year and annually for the next 4 years. Sample consists of 89 trainees in different psychotherapeutic modalities (CBT, Psychodrama, and Family Therapy). Self-report measures used are: Bulgarian adaptations of RFQ (Fonagy et al., 2016; Sharp et al., 2009, Hancheva, 2017), MentS (Dimitrijevic et al., 2017, Hancheva, 2017), and BES (D’Ambrosio, et al., 2009). Performance based tests are modifications of Reading mind in the eyes (Wakabayashi et al. 2006) and RF in 5min transcript (Adkins & Fonagy, 2017).

Results from the first two stages are presented. Comparisons of the key variables are made for the trainees and general population (matching educational level); and between groups in the following therapeutic modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodrama, and Family Therapy. Potential applications and limitations of the study are critically discussed.


2) Why are some CBT therapists better than others?

Sarah Bateup, Ieso Digital Health and Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an evidenced based psychological intervention that is widely recommended as the treatment of choice for common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. The effectiveness of CBT is widely documented with recovery rates in large scale randomized controlled trials ranging from 40% to 60%. Unfortunately, recovery rates in real world clinical settings are lower with some services reporting recovery rates as low as 18%. This presentation will explore the variables that may account for these differences.

Research Purpose
The variance in recovery rates for CBT services in the UK has received much attention but all hypotheses to date are based on conjecture rather than live therapy data. The purpose of this research is to use live therapy data, in volume, to answer the question “why are some therapists getting better outcomes than others?”

Research Design
One method of delivering CBT online using written communication results in a therapy transcript for every appointment. The therapy transcripts of 238 accredited CBT therapists who delivered online CBT to 10,052 patients were examined using standardized and validated assessment tools. In addition, the participating therapists provided information about their core profession, years of experience and qualifications. The results were analysed to understand the variables that correlate with clinical outcomes     

Research Findings
Early findings highlight that therapists with the best clinical outcomes have three variables in common. In addition, it was found that there was no correlation between years of experience, core profession, level of academic qualification and clinical outcomes.  

Research Conclusions
Understanding the therapist variables that correlate with good clinical outcomes will enhance clinical practice, enabling more patients to benefit from effective methods of treatment. In addition, the findings from this study will enable clinical supervisors to support therapists to become more effective and improve the training of future therapists.