What research for what training in psychotherapy? Some methodological issues and a proposal
To define boundaries and links between research and training in psychotherapy we have to establish what kind of research is needed for this purpose. For defining psychotherapy as a science some basic epistemological premises should be affirmed and specific methods have to be devised, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, diachronic and longitudinal perspectives, cumulative and meta-analytic strategies, focusing both the techniques used in the therapies and the relationship between the therapist subject and the client subject as a core mean for produce change. What should be evaluated in this research process, what methods and techniques of assessment should be preferred, what analyses of data are suitable: these are the main issues addressed in the article, as they are useful for planning the training of a therapist as a researcher, regardless of the privileged theoretical and technical approach. Science and practice have to be connected, since they both allow the monitoring of what occurs within the confines of the therapy and favor exchange among psychotherapists from differing theoretical approaches, which also increases their external visibility in the scientific community and in a wider social context. The goal of fostering scientific attitudes in the psychotherapists needs a specific training, to acquire a research mindedness also out of the academic laboratories. A cooperation among scientific associations and institutions is proposed to reach these objectives necessary for psychotherapists’ trainings including competencies in evaluating and sharing the scientific aspects of their work.
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