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“Evidence-Based Resident
Psychotherapy Education”

Division of Ambulatory Psychiatry
(Drs. Robert K. Schneider, J. Randy Thomas, William T. Nay, & Katherine C. Smith)


The Department of Psychiatry makes use of experienced mental health clinicians in the community to provide training and supervision to our residents in psychotherapy.  Personnel and material resources, however, have limited how quickly and efficiently we can educate, engage, and communicate with our adjunct faculty about changes in our program.  The last year has witnessed considerable change in the department’s methods and goals with respect to psychotherapy training.  In particular, the department has created psychotherapy clinics that teach the use of evidence-based tools in therapy practice, as well as incorporating adult learning theory in the ways in which we teach residents.

The CTE small grant program award made it possible to provide invaluable training to our adjunct faculty supervisors in the supervision of psychotherapy and the communication of department goals with respect to evidence based practice and multi-modal teaching.


Educate our clinical faculty supervisors on:

  • Live and videotape observation of psychotherapy; Providing direct feedback on videotaped psychotherapy segments.
  • Administration, scoring, and utilization of normative outcome and process measures to increase the evidence-based accountability in clinical practice.
  • Training supervisors in development of individualized learning plans for their residents.
  • Increase clinical faculty engagement in the residency program and the psychotherapy clinics, in particular.

Electronic communication and education:

  • Pilot testing the utilization of Virtual Private Network (VPN) access to department server for resident education purposes.

Description of Educational Workshop held by Ambulatory Psychiatry

On the evening of May 17, 2006 the Division of Ambulatory Psychiatry welcomed 24 community-based clinical faculty members and 10 department based faculty into our Nelson Clinic offices for a rotating, three-node training curricula.  Following opening comments about the goals and purposes of the meeting by Dr. Robert Schneider (Division Chair) and Dr. Susan Waller (newly appointed Clinical Faculty Liaison), the group was divided into three sections.  Rotating to each presentation, each faculty member took part in:

  • Adult Learning Theory and Applications within the Department’s Training Curricula (Drs. Robert Schneider, John Urbach, and Mike Camp).
  • Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Supervision and Practice; Orientation to Virtual Private Network tools for privacy-protected data sharing / teaching (Drs. Randy Thomas and William Nay)
  • Use of Library Services in Evidence-Based Supervision and Practice (Barbara Kane and Library Staff)

As part of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Supervision, we asked for supervising faculty who are interested in participating in the VPN pilot project and who had the means (high speed internet connection) to use the service.  Combined with specifics of who would be supervising in the upcoming academic year, members were later identified to participate in the test project.

Assessment Procedures and Results:

Two in-house questionnaires were devised to tap; 1) the perceived utility of the content of the evening’s workshop, and 2) supervisors endorsements of evidence-based supervision behaviors, up to the time of the workshop.  The content questionnaire was composed of 9 questions rated across four domains: Teaching (adult learning theory module), Technology (library services module), Techniques (EB psychotherapy module), and Overall Impressions.  Using a Likert-type rating scale of 1 (Not at all useful) to 5 (Very Useful), the average Teaching rating was 4.2; the average Technology rating was 4.4; the average Techniques rating was 4.6; and Overall Impressions average rating was 4.6.  The ratings and qualitative review of summary contents suggests clinical faculty members found the workshop potentially very useful in their future supervision practices, and a number noted the hope that such educational opportunities will emerge on a rolling basis.

The potential utility of the workshop was strongly reinforced by the results of the Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Behaviors questionnaire.  For example, to the question of how often a supervisor had been able, or asked, to observe (in vivo, videotape, audiotape) a psychotherapy session of their trainee, the typical response was Infrequently.  Similarly, the average response to “how often have you asked to see objective measures of …” was also Infrequently.  Overall, the findings from the EB Psychotherapy Behaviors questionnaire suggest that the workshop targeted a direct need in the psychotherapy training program, and the participants attitudes (from the first questionnaire) indicate probable positive change for the training program.  A follow up administration of the Behaviors questionnaire is underway to ascertain the actual effect of the workshop in changing behaviors.

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Last modified: June 20, 2013
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