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Qualitative accounts from deliberate practice training for empathic communication among psychotherapy trainees

Version 2 2024-05-28, 06:18
Version 1 2024-05-28, 05:20
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-28, 06:18 authored by K Nurse, Melissa O'SheaMelissa O'Shea, Jade SheenJade Sheen
AbstractBackgroundEmpathic communication is a key therapeutic skill in psychotherapy. However, questions regarding the most effective and suitable teaching methods to support development in this area remain. Preliminary evidence has supported deliberate practice (DP) as an emerging approach for enhancing therapeutic skills, such as empathic communication; however, little is understood about its acceptability from a trainee perspective.AimsEleven fourth‐year psychology undergraduate students were interviewed about their experience of receiving online group‐based DP training for empathic communication.Materials & MethodsReflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts.ResultsParticipants described observing improvements in their use of empathic communication, including attitudinal and behavioural changes and shifts in self‐awareness. Participants also described valuing self‐observation and the personalised, iterative nature of the DP model in supporting their learning. Nevertheless, DP was also experienced as challenging by some trainees, who reflected that it provoked initial feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.DiscussionThis study highlights that undergraduate students may benefit from group DP training that fosters psychological safety and seeks to mitigate potential challenges, can be customised to their individual skill level and is incorporated alongside other learning approaches.ConclusionFuture research is encouraged to build on these findings by examining the impact of DP on objective measures of empathic communication.

History

Journal

Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

Pagination

1-12

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1473-3145

eISSN

1746-1405

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Wiley