‘It was like the unicorn of the therapeutic world’: CBT trainee experiences of acquiring skills in guided discovery

Roscoe, Jason ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6088-1327 , Bates, Elizabeth ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8694-8078 and Blackley, Rhiannon (2022) ‘It was like the unicorn of the therapeutic world’: CBT trainee experiences of acquiring skills in guided discovery. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 15 . e32.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1754470X22000277


Training as a cognitive behavioural therapist involves a considerable role transition for mental health professionals where they are expected to demonstrate competence in a range of new skills that emphasise collaboration and Socratic dialogue. This can be in stark contrast to the more didactic style that trainees are familiar with prior to embarking on their training. Guided discovery (GD) is an integral part of formulation and treatment, yet little is known at present about the experiences of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) trainees when learning this new skill; specifically, how they assimilate this with existing ways of working and the challenges this might involve. This research is a preliminary attempt to understand factors that help and hinder GD skill acquisition. Eighteen trainee CBT practitioners completed an online questionnaire with the subsequent data analysed using a grounded theory methodology. Three themes were identified: ‘Competing Selves’, ‘Style’ and ‘Active Engagement and Learning’. These themes were used to develop a preliminary model of factors that enable or inhibit skills in GD. The impact of previous professional roles appears to influence the acquisition of confidence and skill in GD. This paper discusses the implications of the findings for CBT trainers, supervisors and trainees.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1754-470X
Departments: Institute of Health > Psychology and Psychological Therapies
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User: Jason Roscoe
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 10:40
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:32
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6480


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