Competency-Based Training in Interpersonal, Process-Oriented Group Therapy: An Innovative University Partnership

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Abstract

Group therapy has been given little attention in psychology training programs despite empirical evidence of its effectiveness. To address the gap in group psychotherapy training, this article describes a competency-based model that teams up postdoctoral residents of a university counseling and wellbeing center with practicum trainees from that university’s clinical psychology department training clinic to provide interpersonal, process-oriented groups to university student clients. Postdoctoral residents and advanced practicum trainees cofacilitate the groups, while novice practicum trainees serve as process observers. This article describes this program in terms of 3 key innovations: (a) vertical leadership teams, (b) the integration of didactic and experiential learning toward the development of group competencies at 3 distinct levels of training, and (c) a collaborative partnership between a university’s counseling and wellbeing center and clinical psychology department training clinic. Drawing on resources from both departments, this program enhances community across the university. Data on training outcomes are provided and future directions are discussed.

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