Verbal therapeutic behavior of expert psychoanalytically oriented, gestalt, and behavior therapists

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Asked 18 expert psychoanalytically oriented, gestalt, and behavior therapists to submit representative, audiotaped therapy interviews. A content analysis of therapist verbal behavior was conducted by means of the System for Assessing Therapist Communications, an instrument developed by the authors. Comparisons across the 3 theoretical orientations were made on 6 dimensions of behavior: type of therapeutic activity, temporal focus, interview focus, initiative, communication, and therapeutic climate. Results indicate that according to prediction, these expert therapists were similar in their communication of empathy, the basis for their therapeutic relationships. Theoretical orientation, however, differentially influenced the use of direct guidance and facilitative techniques, interview content focused on the client, therapist self-disclosure, therapist initiative, and supportive therapy climate. Gestalt therapists were most dissimilar from the other therapists. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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