February 16, 2015
1 min read

Therapy techniques vary based on individual, organizational factors

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Therapists’ use of cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and psychodynamic therapy techniques is influenced by individual or organizational factors, according to research published in JAMA Pediatrics.

“These findings suggest the nuanced effect of individual and organizational factors on therapists’ use of therapy techniques,” the researchers wrote. “This study suggests that both where you work and who you are matter in understanding therapists’ behavior in context and that improving the effectiveness of implementation strategies should consider both approaches.”

The observational, cross-sectional study included data from 19 agencies within 23 sites, 130 therapists, 36 supervisors, and 22 executive administrators from child mental health care services.

The researchers found that organizational factors accounted for 23% of the variance in therapists’ use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, and that therapist factors explained 16% of the variables.

Therapists’ use of family therapy techniques included 19% organizational variables and 7% therapist variables, according to data.

There was a 20% variance with the use of psychodynamic therapy techniques, and organizational factors accounted for 7% of variables, the researchers wrote.

“Consistent with the literature, therapists with more open attitudes were more likely to use CBT techniques. However, inconsistent with the literature, older therapists were more likely to use CBT techniques,” they wrote.

The researchers reported that older therapists may have a tendency to change treatment modalities.

They also wrote that therapists who were less knowledgeable about evidence-based practices were more likely to use psychodynamic therapy techniques. – by Samantha Costa

Disclosure: Beidas reports receiving royalties from Oxford University Press and serving as a consultant for Kinark Child and Family Services. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.