Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The International Project on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training (IPEPPT)

Entry written 13 March 2007:

One of my main research involvements over the past three years has been the International Project on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training (IPEPPT). IPEPPT was formally initiated in June, 2004, by the Italian Coordinamento Nazionale Scuole di Psicoterapia and the Italian Federation of Psychotherapy Associations. To date, a Scientific Steering Committee has been formed along with an orientation-specific working group for person-centered and experiential psychotherapies. The general goal of this project is to improve psychotherapy and psychotherapy training in a broad range of theoretical approaches, by encouraging systematic research in therapy training institutes and university-based training clinics. The person-centered and experiential psychotherapies working group maintains an invitational demonstration website (www.communityzero.com/pcepirg) and currently includes members from Belgium, Scotland, Canada, the USA, and Australia, Portugal, Slovakia, Greece and Austria.

This project has two primary components: The first component involves facilitating practice-based research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy in universities and training institutes in Europe, North American and elsewhere. In these settings, randomized clinical trials are generally impractical and tend not to be useful for understanding or improving therapy. Instead, implementing this component requires the development of a research framework for assessing therapy process and outcome that can be used across a range of theoretical orientations, modalities, and client populations.

The second component of the project involves promotion of research evaluating the effectiveness of therapy training in university and institute-based training programs. These evaluation activities should be able to provide both formative and summative functions. That is, they should enable us to improve training by providing feedback about effective and ineffective training processes; and they should also enable us to demonstrate the effectiveness of training programs to accrediting and funding agencies. A multi-orientation star design is also planned for this component, with a common core of key training outcomes, amplified by specialized evaluation protocols for particular therapy approaches or orientations.

So far, we have put in two unsuccessful bids for EU funding for this project, organized by Alberto’s grant writers in Rome, but little has happened over the past 6 months. As I learned last week, however, Alberto’s team have given up for now and Alberto is now asking me to pursue funding from my new position in Scotland. The deadline is May, but I have so much on my agenda right now that this is going to be extremely difficult to do. Progress is still possible without grant funding, which is what I would prefer to do for the time being, at least until the research clinic at Strathclyde is up and running.

No comments: