Therapist orientation, supervisor match, and therapeutic interventions: Implications for session quality in a psychotherapy training PRN

Andrew A. Mcaleavey, Louis Georges Castonguay, Henry Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Theoretical orientation is a multifaceted construct that is integral to the process of psychotherapy and psychotherapy training. While some research has been conducted on personal identification with particular schools of psychotherapy, techniques used in psychotherapy sessions, and match between trainees and supervisors in training, there is insufficient information regarding how these may interact with one another. Aim: This study, conducted in a practice research network of trainee therapists, was designed to test whether these variables may be related to one another in predicting session quality. Method: The sample comprised 328 sessions from 26 clients and 11 therapists, with the clients completing session quality measures and therapists completing measures of technique immediately post-session. Results: Using multilevel linear modelling, the data showed varied results. For behavioural therapy and person-centred therapy, techniques and orientation were unrelated to session quality in the sample. However, process-experiential, psychodynamic, and cognitive therapy techniques were all involved in interactions with therapist and/or supervisor orientations. Conclusions: These results suggest that the impact of specific psychotherapy techniques sometimes depends on the orientation of the therapist and/or supervisor. For instance, sessions high in cognitive therapy techniques were only associated with positive outcome when both the therapist and supervisor were highly cognitively oriented. Though preliminary, these results suggest that orientation may be an important variable to consider in training and supervision, especially in the context of other variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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