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Re: What's 'competence'? Good question

Posted by Ilene on August 11, 2004, at 17:49:58

In reply to What's 'competence'? Good question Ilene, posted by badhaircut on August 11, 2004, at 14:52:45

> > How do you evaluate the competence of a therapist?
> Good question! I wonder if the "competent" therapists are simply those who have really good social skills, who are very responsive to subtle cues, and who genuinely enjoy other people. Folks who'd be "competent" in any field requiring a lot of tricky interpersonal navigation.

That's obviously part of it. A good therapist has to have the ability to put people at ease so they will open up.

> I wonder if therapists were required to post statistics like those used in the "competency" studies (what % of clients feel "much better" after # weeks or 1 year later; what % dropped out; what % say "He's a jerk!"; etc), would we consumers be better off?

I'd like to steer clear of the jerks, if I could. I've certainly read some horror stories, here and other places.

This is something the HMOs could do. We regard them as craven money-grubbers who want to boot people out of therapy, but the article also demonstrated a more constructive role for them. (PacifiCare Behavioral Health, which claims to call therapists to see what's going on if a patient doesn't improve.) Unfortunately, the mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, that were available through one of my previous HMOs were the ones who would accept minimal reimbursement. I ended up going out of network and using all my disposable income on psychiatry. I also didn't have the wherewithall to do much beyond drag myself to my appointments. My pdoc was overly slow and cautious, but she was very supportive. I might have done better if some third party had intervened and had me to see an actual psychopharmacologist long before I did. I'm sure the same is true for many purely psychotherapy patients.

> Bruce Wampold, the psychologist in the article who said "therapist competence" is key, wrote a book on his competence research in 2001 called "The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods, and Findings." It's available for download at netlibrary -- *free* if your local library subscribes:
> It'll take me a while, but I really want to read it.

Please post your reactions.
> There's a pretty good review of the book on the American Family Therapy Academy web site:
> -bhc




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