Wear and tear on healthcare personnel
Psykologvirke offers guidance to clinics, therapists, environmental staff and relatives. We have a focus on both professional development and personal strengthening in our work with patients. Clinical experience and research indicate that working with trauma in the therapy room can be a strain which in the long term can affect job coping and one's own health.
This applies not only to healthcare personnel, but also to people who in their work come into contact with practitioners or victims of traumatic events.
What does the research say about therapy effect?
Guidance is a regular part of the working day of all psychologists at Psykologvirke, where we work together to understand more of the human mind, provide more effective therapy, and to develop ourselves as psychologists and fellow human beings.
Research shows us that about half of all people who go into therapy have a good effect (Lambert, 2013). The question is how we can help the remaining half. This is where guidance and therapy training come in.
We know that therapists often overestimate how skilled they are (Walfish et al, 2012), that therapists often struggle to catch that the patient is getting worse, not getting help from the treatment or that the patient is not happy with or understands the therapy (e.g. Hannan et al., 2005).
Furthermore, we know that patients rarely inform their therapists about it, if they get a negative reaction to the therapy (Blanchard & Farber, 2016). We also know that traditional therapy guidance has little effect on either the therapy, the patient or the therapist (Watkins, 2011).
Guidance with a focus on skills training
On the other hand, what turns out to have a consistently positive effect on therapy is targeted skills training in a guidance situation (Chow et al, 2015).
For this reason, we have a strong focus on not only understanding our clients' problems or what we can do with them, but we also practice together how we work in the therapy room. More and more clinics are now doing this, and that is one of the reasons why we can now help even more patients.
This is something we have already practiced for several years, but we discovered that we still had the potential to be able to help even more of our patients.
We reasoned as follows:
The more we can understand about the human mind, the better we can help our patients. The challenge with knowledge is it can quickly become dry and clinical. We believe in experience-oriented learning, ie that we get a closeness to and experience of the processes we work with.
If Istanbul can be a metaphor for your own mind, who do you want to include as a travel guide? One who has read Lonely Planet about Istanbul, one who has been a tourist in Istanbul, or one who has lived in Istanbul?
We set ourselves the goal of making journeys into our own minds, so that we could become skilled travel guides and pocket experts in the greatest mystery of our time; the human mind. We have done this through self-therapy, meditation, contemplation, guidance, group meetings and other forms of introspective practices.
Artificial separation between therapist and client
Psychologists are not shielded from the realities of life, we can also carry both old and new wounds. These wounds can go beyond our own quality of life and ability to help our patients deal with their wounds.
But they can also be a source of deeper understanding of the human mind and how the human mind works.
At Psykologvirke, we therefore have a continuous focus on the psychologist's self-healing. In this process, we have made many amazing experiences, and one of the most interesting experiences is that we learn more about our patients by learning more about ourselves.
We have used various techniques and tools to go deeper into our own minds, and through this we have gained experience and work with psychological phenomena that we had previously only learned about in psychology or indirectly through working with our patients.
We have experienced that it is the depth of the psychologist's own journeys down into his own mind that sets limits to how deep we can take our patients into their minds. The more comfortable you are in your own mind, the more comfortable you will be in your patient's mind.
The more processes you yourself have worked through, the clearer it becomes that we all have the same processes, only with different intensity and life history.
At Psykologvirke, we take our colleagues and our patients equally seriously, and that is one of the keys to our results.
You can read more about supervision in an article written by one of our supervisors in the Journal of the Norwegian Psychological Association: https://psykologtidsskriftet.no/fra-praksis/2019/05/fra-teknikk-til-improvisasjon
Contact general manager Anders Gamstøbakk at the Trauma Center if you have a request for guidance or teaching assignments; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blanchard, M. & Farber, BA (2016). Lying in psychotherapy: Why and what clients do not tell their therapist about therapy and their relationship. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 29, 90-112.
Chow, DL, Miller. SD, Seidel, JA, Kane, RT, Thornton, JA & Andrews, WP (2015). The role of deliberate practice in the development of highly effective psychotherapists. Psychotherapy, 52 (3),337-345.
Hannan, C., Lambert, MJ, Harmon C., Nielsen, SI, Smart, DW Shimokawa, K. & Sutton, SW (2005). A lab test and algorithms for identifying clients at risk for treatment failure. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 61, 155-163.
Lambert, M. J. (2013). Outcome in psychotherapy: The past and important advances. Psychotherapy, 50(1), 42–51.
Walfish, S., McAlister, B., O'Donnell, P. & Lambert, MJ (2012). An investigation of self-assessment bias in mental health providers. Psychol Rep, 110 (2), 639-644.
Watkins, CE (2011). Does psychotherapy supervision contribute to patient outcomes? Considering thirty years of research. Clinical Supervisor, 30, 235-56.