Promoting student centred emotional well-being
What is "good" treatment?
It is clear that research models of therapy do not tend to represent real life situations. Research models also have inherent limitations
to assess certain aspects of therapy and will tend to favour some models of therapy over others. In most research, subjects know that
they are entering a study, and often know that they will be randomly assigned to a therapy modality. They also usually know
that the therapy will be time limited and that they will not be able to continue with the assigned therapist if they need further
help. These aspects will naturally decrease the sense of trust and personal investment that the subjects have in the therapist. Therapies
that depend more on working through issues through the relationship with the therapist will be at an immediate disadvantage in research
with these constraints. Therapies that focus more on psychological tools that subjects could use, will have an advantage in
outcome research. Some therapies focus more on underlying issues and emotional experience, while others focus on symptom control.
As outcome is often measured in terms of symptoms, therapies that focus on symptom control should tend to show better results.
any kind of research, the more frequently a subject fills out a survey, the more the results will tend to drift towards the mean. This
means that therapies that tend to use symptom report as a modality, should tend to show better results.
Some therapies enourage exploration
and expression of intense feelinngs, while others encourage reporting of decreased symptoms. Therapies that give positive feedback
when subjects report lower symptoms should show better results on symptom report scales than therapies that encourage expression.
could construct, based on these issues, the ideal research psychotherapy model. This therapy would:
- Limit emotional exploration and
focus on symptoms
- Limit interpretation of emotional responses to the therapist
- Focus on practical tools the subject can use
- Have the subject rate symptoms regularly
- Give the subject positive feedback when lower symptoms are reported
- Focus on the diagnosis,
with a confident attitude that the therapy is best for the diagnosis
- Put the emphasis on the subjects ability to control symptoms
Limitations of psychotherapy research