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The purpose of the research is to: 1) to test whether psychotherapy including immediate feedback of empathy data is more efficacious than therapy without such an exchange of data, 2) to measure the degree of accuracy of therapist's empathy and its relationship to the patient's estimate of the therapist's empathy.
Objective: To develop and evaluate a feedback method for measuring and increasing therapists' empathic accuracy and reducing empathic errors in psychotherapy. Method: Sixteen (16) patient-therapist pairs were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. All patients rated their own functioning using the GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) and predicted the accuracy with which their therapists would estimate their ratings. Therapists rated the patient's GAF, predicted the patients' ratings of their own GAFs, and rated their confidence in their own predictions. In the intervention condition, therapist and patients discussed the previous session's ratings for a few minutes of the therapy session. Results: Intervention therapists showed greater empathic accuracy relative to controls on our empathy measure (t(14) = 2.69, p < .01) and increased empathy over time on the Barrett-Lenard Empathy subscale (t(32) = 3.21, p < .01). We also found significant effects on errors related to perceived accuracy of therapist empathy. Patients in the control group were found to perceive their therapists to be either more or less accurate than was actually the case (over/under-idealization), but such biases were not as strong in the intervention group. Similarly, therapists in the control group were likely to over-estimate their own accuracy (over-confidence) to a greater extent than intervention therapists. Affective responses to the instrument were positive overall and did not differ by condition. Conclusion: Empathy feedback and feedback concerning degrees of patient idealization and therapist confidence may be effective in improving functioning as well as in increasing empathic accuracy in psychotherapy.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:18:46-0400
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A mechanism of communication with a physiological system for homeostasis, adaptation, etc. Physiological feedback is mediated through extensive feedback mechanisms that use physiological cues as feedback loop signals to control other systems.
Experiential, attitudinal, emotional, or behavioral phenomena occurring during the course of treatment. They apply to the patient or therapist (i.e., nurse, doctor, etc.) individually or to their interaction. (American Psychological Association: Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 1994)
An individual's objective and insightful awareness of the feelings and behavior of another person. It should be distinguished from sympathy, which is usually nonobjective and noncritical. It includes caring, which is the demonstration of an awareness of and a concern for the good of others. (From Bioethics Thesaurus, 1992)
Psychotherapeutic technique which emphasizes socioenvironmental and interpersonal influences in the resocialization and rehabilitation of the patient. The setting is usually a hospital unit or ward in which professional and nonprofessional staff interact with the patients.
Method of psychotherapeutic treatment based on assumption of patients' personal responsibility for their own behavior. The therapist actively guides patients to accurate self-perception for fulfillment of needs of self-worth and respect for others. (From APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed.)