Change process research and the common factors approach in conceptualising psychotherapeutic change: a systematic review
Van der Merwe, Jandré
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Throughout the literature on psychotherapeutic change, the concepts common factors approach (CFA) and change process research (CPR) feature distinctly. The use and application of these two specific concepts vary between authors, with vague and ambiguous usage being the most apparent. The question this study aims to answer is: What does scientific literature report on change process research and the common factors approach in conceptualising psychotherapeutic change? The aim of this study was to systematically review literature on change process research and the common factors approach in an effort to conceptualise change in psychotherapy. The study was conducted by means of a systematic review. This method entails a systematic and comprehensive review of literature; starting with locating, appraising, and synthesising the best available evidence pertaining to this research question – to provide information and evidence-based answers to the specific research question. A total of 39 full-text articles were reviewed by two reviewers. Through thematic analysis and a qualitative synthesis, seven descriptive themes were generated. These seven themes are: (1) relational variables, (2) psychotherapist variables, (3) client variables, (4) technique variables, (5) psychotherapeutic change variables, (6) research variables, and (7) the theoretical framework. These seven themes describe common operational elements of the psychotherapeutic process which are related to psychotherapeutic change. The findings also argue for a sense of convergence and synergy in how CFA and CPR are conceptualised in both psychotherapy research and contemporary practice.
- Health Sciences