Master therapists are therapists who provide extremely effective therapy to clients and who are regarded by other expert therapists as "the expert". Existing qualitative studies on master therapists have revealed certain characteristics shared among the master therapists across the world. This current study developed an inventory to quantify these characteristics. The inventory is called the Master Psychotherapist Characteristics Inventory (MPCI). A total of 323 therapists with a wide range of experience completed the inventory. Item analysis and factor analysis yielded seven subscales with optimal length and high internal consistency: self-awareness (nine items, Crobach's alpha = .84), relational acumen (10 items, Crobach's alpha = .85), clinical conceptualization (13 items, Crobach's alpha = .91), learning drive (10 items, Crobach's alpha = .85), self-confidence (12 items, Crobach's alpha = .85), emotional self-care (six items, Crobach's alpha = .85), and cultural competency (13 items, Crobach's alpha = .92). The structure of the final inventory was largely consistent with the literature review results. All seven MPCI subscales were significantly correlated with social desirability measured by Billard's Short Form of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Clinical conceptualization and self-confidence were significantly correlated with years of practice and direct client contact hours. All seven MPCI subscales were significantly correlated with therapists' self-reported therapy expertise. Clinical conceptualization and self-confidence were significant predictors of therapists' self-reported therapy expertise while controlling the remaining nine of the 10 variables (seven MPCI subscale variables, years of practice, direct client contact hours, and social desirability). It was concluded that MPCI is an inventory with high reliability and structure validity. The results indicated that clinical conceptualization ability and self-confidence may be particularly important for therapists' self-perception of expertise; future research is needed to validate the relationship between MPCI scores and therapist effectiveness based on objective data.
UNiversity of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2012. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisors: Thomas J. Hummel, Ph.D., Kay Herting Wahl, Ed.D. 1 computer file (PDF); appendices A-L.
Development and validation of the master psychotherapist characteristics inventory.
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