Testing a deliberate practice workshop for developing appropriate responsivity to resistance markers. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Deliberate practice (DP) is an emerging training method for improving individual performance that may be worth adapting and testing for applicability to groups, given the prevalence of group training for continuing education. This study compared an adapted DP workshop to the same traditional, non-DP workshop for managing ambivalence and resistance. The same presenter delivered the workshops to 88 randomly assigned community psychotherapists. The DP workshop involved repeated interaction with multiple recreations of resistance, with consistent group feedback especially on ideal expert performance. The control workshop was more didactic, with fewer opportunities for practice and feedback. We assessed video vignette performance and coded 20-min interviews with ambivalent interviewees from the community. Both workshops produced equivalent trainee satisfaction and significant increases in self-reported skills. However, the DP versus control group demonstrated better observer-rated skill on all performance measures postworkshop. Although skills declined to 4-month retest in both groups, the DP trainees retained their relative advantage over traditional workshop trainees. Moreover, at the 4-month follow-up, DP versus control trainees were rated as more empathic by community interviewees and self-reported practicing the skills at higher rates. These findings support the continued investigation of DP as a means for improving therapist skill in continuing education workshops. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


  • Westra, Henny A
  • Norouzian, Nikoo
  • Poulin, Lauren
  • Coyne, Alice
  • Constantino, Michael J
  • Hara, Kimberley
  • Olson, David
  • Antony, Martin

publication date

  • June 2021