Trainee Theoretical Orientation: Profiles and Potential Predictors

  • Boswell J
  • Castonguay L
  • Pincus A
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The goal of this study was to provide data on the theoretical orientations of a sample of therapists in-training, as well as to investigate constructs that may help to predict identification with a particular theoretical orientation(s). Data on therapist theoretical orientation and personality were gathered from 46 graduate student therapists in 4 APA accredited clinical and counseling psychology programs. Although psychodynamic therapy was the most strongly endorsed single theoretical framework across the sample, the orientation with the highest mean rating was an eclectic/integrative approach. A 2-step cluster analysis was used to create orientation profiles to further explore psychotherapy integration, which produced a 3-cluster solution: (a) humanistic/systems/psychodynamic, (b) psychodynamic, and (c) cognitive–behavioral. A significant main effect for cluster membership and personality factors was found, and a chi-square analysis indicated differential representation across the three “integration clusters” as a function of training program. Implications for psychotherapy integration and training are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • integration
  • personality
  • theoretical orientation
  • training

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  • James F. Boswell

  • Louis G. Castonguay

  • Aaron L. Pincus

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