Monday, January 04, 2010

Update on the Change Interview

Entry for 1 January 2010:

Judith, a PhD student, writes, “My dissertation deals with the qualitative investigation of change process in art therapy. We were thinking of using the Change Interview for the data collection. I already read the paper you published in Frommer`s book about qualitative psychotherapy research. My question was if you could give me some more relevant literature about the change interview, so that I can deepen my knowledge about it."

Here is my reply:

Dear Judith,

Hmm... that's an interesting question. Because the Change Interview is not a psychometric measurement instrument but rather a qualitative interview protocol, one can't point to specific validity and reliability data. That means that the instrument really stands or falls on the basis of the usefulness of the data generated for addressing particular research questions.

At the core of the Change Interview are questions on three key issues: (a) Pre-post changes; (b) helpful factors; and (c) hindering factors. Each of these questions has a literature to go with it, reviewed in Elliott & James, 1989, for example:

Elliott, R. & James, E. (1989). Varieties of client experience in psychotherapy: An analysis of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 443-468.

John McLeod has a line of research on clients' qualitative perceptions of how they've changed; see also Klein & Elliott, 2006:

Klein, M.J., & Elliott, J. (2006). Client Accounts of personal change in Process-Experiential psychotherapy: A methodologically pluralistic approach. Psychotherapy Research. 16, 91-105.

Helpful and hindering factors also have their own literatures; see for example, papers in the recent 2008 special section of Psychotherapy Research on research on client experiences of therapy. Timulak recently reviewed some of this literature:

Timulak, L. (2007). Identifying core categories of client-identified impact of helpful events in psychotherapy: A qualitative meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 17. 305-314.
The Change Interview is now a key element of the Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED); see Elliott, 2001, 2002, and Elliott et al., 2009. HSCED studies have enabled us to develop further interesting uses for Change Interview data, and we are continuing to do so:

Elliott, R. (2001). Hermeneutic single case efficacy design (HSCED): An overview. In K.J.Schneider, J.F.T. Bugental & J.F. Fraser (eds.), Handbook of Humanistic Psychology (pp. 315-324), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Elliott, R. (2002). Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design. Psychotherapy Research, 12, 1-20.
Elliott, R., Partyka, R., Wagner, J., Alperin, R. & Dobrenski. R., Messer, S.B., Watson, J.C. & Castonguay, L.G. (2009). An Adjudicated Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design of Experiential Therapy for Panic/Phobia. Psychotherapy Research, 19, 543-557. [Appendices available at:]

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