Alice E. Coyne receives grant to research facilitative interpersonal skill in psychotherapy

Alice CoyneAlice E. Coyne has been awarded a $5,000 research grant from the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (APA Division 29)! Her project, "Uncovering Trainable Therapist-Level Pathways to Improve Patient Outcomes" will examine why some psychotherapists have consistently better treatment outcomes than others. A therapist's level of facilitative interpersonal skill (FIS) may have an impact. FIS encompasses eight interpersonal skills, "persuasiveness, verbally fluency, empathy, emotional expression, warmth/understanding, ability to form a positive relational bond with patients, ability to instill hope/positive outcome expectation, and the ability to skillfully detect and repair alliance ruptures."

Her team will test whether the link between more developed therapist FIS and improved treatment outcomes extends to routine clinical practice settings. The researchers will enlist the help of specially-trained clinicians and patients to detect between-therapist differences, and whether or not the therapist's ability to foster quality therapeutic alliances and/or optimistic patient outcome expectations will change the FIS-outcome association. This research could show how proper training in FIS can lead to better clinical outcomes in psychotherapy