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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we focus on how the therapist affects the effectiveness of psychotherapy. We approach this chapter as two researchers who are also practicing therapists and therefore are aware of common challenges regarding the research–practice gap. Our goals are to discuss specific implications of psychotherapy research and to highlight concrete steps for implementing therapist-focused quality improvement strategies in clinical settings. We begin with a discussion of why therapist variables have been neglected in psychotherapy research and review research evidence of therapist effects. We then discuss characteristics of effective therapists and ways in which individual therapists can improve their practice. Finally, we discuss the growing body of research on routine outcome monitoring (ROM) and the role both therapists and systems of care play in improving outcome.

Keywords: therapist effects, psychotherapy outcome, therapeutic alliance, feedback, patient-focused research

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