Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Training observational coders in a family therapy setting

Class

Article

Department

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Faculty Mentor

Megan Oka

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

We established a behavioral coding lab to examine therapist and client behaviors in couple therapy. Our goal was to have a lab where various projects could be examined relating client improvement in therapy. It is anticipated that this research will help therapists improve in therapy as well, and that results from our studies can be fed back into training at the USU Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic. The lab consists of two computers containing behavioral coding software and secure storage for digital videos. We set up a project in the software to examine therapist interruptions of couple clients, as well as client interruptions of each other and the therapist. We identified two types of interruptions: competitive and collaborative. We defined competitive interruptions as those which changed the focus of the therapy conversation and collaborative interruptions as those which emphasized the current conversation in the session. We (mainly the primary researcher) trained undergraduate coders by teaching vocabulary terms related to the project. Students were then guided through the software program by setting up a project and completing coding a session. Competitive and collaborative interruptions were highlighted throughout the training session for clarity. After this time, coders began to work on their own, and once they completed coding a video, a consensus meeting was held to determine how much inter-rater agreement there was between them and the head coder. Once these coders reached an 80% agreement, their data were considered useable. Data were then analyzed using SPSS software. Our preliminary findings were that the therapists interrupt men and women at the same rate. We also found that therapists interrupted collaboratively more than they interrupted competitively. However, therapists appeared to use both types of interruptions in different contexts, and one did not appear to be more beneficial than the other, which has implications for training.

Start Date

4-9-2015 10:30 AM

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Apr 9th, 10:30 AM

Training observational coders in a family therapy setting

We established a behavioral coding lab to examine therapist and client behaviors in couple therapy. Our goal was to have a lab where various projects could be examined relating client improvement in therapy. It is anticipated that this research will help therapists improve in therapy as well, and that results from our studies can be fed back into training at the USU Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic. The lab consists of two computers containing behavioral coding software and secure storage for digital videos. We set up a project in the software to examine therapist interruptions of couple clients, as well as client interruptions of each other and the therapist. We identified two types of interruptions: competitive and collaborative. We defined competitive interruptions as those which changed the focus of the therapy conversation and collaborative interruptions as those which emphasized the current conversation in the session. We (mainly the primary researcher) trained undergraduate coders by teaching vocabulary terms related to the project. Students were then guided through the software program by setting up a project and completing coding a session. Competitive and collaborative interruptions were highlighted throughout the training session for clarity. After this time, coders began to work on their own, and once they completed coding a video, a consensus meeting was held to determine how much inter-rater agreement there was between them and the head coder. Once these coders reached an 80% agreement, their data were considered useable. Data were then analyzed using SPSS software. Our preliminary findings were that the therapists interrupt men and women at the same rate. We also found that therapists interrupted collaboratively more than they interrupted competitively. However, therapists appeared to use both types of interruptions in different contexts, and one did not appear to be more beneficial than the other, which has implications for training.