MULTITHEORETICAL TRAINING & SUPERVISION
Multitheoretical Psychotherapy (MTP) provides a comprehensive method for training counselors and therapists. Chapter Twelve of the MTP textbook (Brooks-Harris, 2008, p. 454-467) describes two distinct features of multitheoretical training. The first component is called key strategies training in which counselors learn and practice specific skills they can use with clients. This training method helps translate theory into practice and allows therapists to build up a repertoire of skills drawn from different theories. The second feature of MTP training is called integration in action, through which trainees learn to think about current clients in a multidimensional manner, formulate multitheoretical conceptualizations, and learn to practice integrative psychotherapy by combining skills from different theoretical approaches. MTP also can be used in clinical supervision to guide conceptualization and treatment planning.
Key strategies training provides a structured way to learn how to translate psychotherapy theories into practical skills. This handout oulines the following steps: (1) theory review, (2) strategy introduction, (3) demonstration, (4) discussion, (5) written practice, and (6) role-play practice.
MTP describes 12 to 16 key strategies for each of seven theoretical approaches. These worksheets allow counselors to rate how frequently and proficiently they use each skill. These worksheets can be used throughout training as counselors acquire strategies drawn from different theories.
Practicum or internship provides an ideal context for multitheoretical integration. MTP provides a framework for reflecting on practice, expanding knowledge and skills, and integrating theories in practice. This handout outlines a two-semester sequence that introduces integrative concepts and introduces key strategies from seven theoretical approaches.
The best way to learn multitheoretical psychotherapy is to implement it with a client and use MTP concepts to describe the case. This handout outlines five parts of a case presentation: (1) client description, presenting concern, and relevant history; (2) multidimensional survey; (3) focal dimensions; (4) formulating a multitheoretical conceptualization; and (5) intervention strategies.
This document describes the way one graduate student implemented MTP with a female client who was trying to leave an abusive relationship. The case presentation write-up provided here follows the outline described earlier and demonstrates how therapeutic learning can be organized and enhanced using a multitheoretical approach.
Clinical supervision can be used to encourage trainees to practice integrative psychotherapy. This handout describes how MTP concepts and tools can be used within a single supervision session by following these steps: (1) identifying the current focus, (2) conducting a multidimensional survey, (3) identifying focal dimensions, (4) formulating a focused conceptualization, (5) identifying key strategies, and (6) customizing key strategies.
Acquiring skills from several different theories and learning to combine them in practice is a complex task. The best way for students to learn to become integrative psychotherapists is for this theme to be infused throughout the graduate curriculum. This handout describes the way MTP concepts and tools can be used in the following classes and experiences: (1) pre-practicum skills training, (2) theory survey class, (3) seminars on individual approaches, (4) practicum or internship, and (5) psychotherapy integration class.
Key Strategies Workbooks
These workbooks provide trainees an opportunity for written practice as a part of key strategies training. Written practice encourages counselors to think about markers, implementation, and consequences within the context of conversations with clients.
© 2014 Jeff Harris