Call for Papers in Statistical Methods in Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

Giorgio A. Tasca, Ph.D.

Group Dynamics, Theory, Research, and Practice publishes state of the art research on group psychology and group psychotherapy. The study of people nested in small groups represents unique challenges to the researcher. Group members interact with each other, they share common experiences within their group that may be different across groups, and each group may be affected by different compositions and histories. These factors make groups and group research interesting, but they also complicate the analyses of grouped data. Group Dynamics invites authors to submit papers that address salient issues related to the design and analyses of grouped data. The focus will be on conceptual issues that are addressed by the method, and on its practical applications. As such, each paper should be structured to include the following: (1) a conceptual introduction of the issues being addressed and their importance to group research, (2) a concrete running example of real or simulated data and their analyses to make the concepts and data analytic approach come to life, (3) instructions or suggestions on which relevant findings to report and how (e.g., parameters, variance components, model fit statistics, effect sizes, etc.), (4) practical suggestions on how and under what circumstances to apply the method, (5) common pitfalls or problems in applying the method and/or interpreting findings, (6) a short annotated bibliography of software, web sites, and key articles or chapters, and (7) if appropriate, online supplementary material with syntax, computer codes, or macros. Equations or figures should be fully described and all parameters should be clearly and concretely defined using the running example. Emphasis should be place on interpreting the statistical findings in the context of the running example (data in the running example does not need to be new as it is primarily being used as illustration). The manuscript should be: aimed at the level of a new researcher or a graduate student who will use the paper to guide them in their own data analyses; or aimed at readers who may use the paper to help them understand and evaluate group research. Authors might assume for example that the reader has only basic knowledge of statistical concepts (i.e., regression equations) and of group psychology and psychotherapy. Papers should be no more than 30 pages in length, not including online supplementary material. All submissions will be peer reviewed. This special issue of Group Dynamics on statistical methods will bring together in one volume papers that will serve as a reference for authors, reviewers, and students who wish to conduct and evaluate state of the art group psychology and group psychotherapy research.

Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2015. Submissions can be made through the journal submission portal on the American Psychological Association web site. Authors should indicate in the cover letter that the manuscript is intended for the special issue on statistical methods in group psychology and group psychotherapy. Authors are encouraged to contact Giorgio A. Tasca (gtasca@toh.on.ca) to discuss the suitability of a potential topic for submission.

Evidence-Based Case Study

Parallel in purpose to the Practice Review articles, I would like to issue an open invitation for authors to submit an Evidence-Based Case Study for possible publication in Psychotherapy. I believe developing such a series of Evidence-Based Case Studies will be extremely useful in several ways. First, such investigation will provide much needed information to bridge the gap between research and practice. Second, such studies will provide important templates of how to integrate basic research into applied work at the individual case level. In addition, I hope to open an avenue for publication to those in full time private practice who are interested in integrating research measures into their clinical work. Finally, I wish to provide a readily identifiable aggregate of systematic case studies from various forms of treatment that meet the American Psychological Association’s criteria for Evidence-Based Practice (APA, 2006) as well as the Clinical Utility dimension in the Criteria for Evaluating Treatment Guidelines (APA, 2002).

The goal of these Evidenced-Based Case Studies will be to integrate verbatim clinical case material with standardized measures of process and outcome evaluated at different times across treatment. That is, authors should describe clinical vignettes highlighting key interventions and mechanisms of change regarding their specific approach to treatment in the context of empirical scales. With this goal in mind I offer the following guidelines for those who are interested in preparing an Evidence-Based Case Study:

  1. At minimum the report should include the assessment (from patient or independent rater perspective, not therapist) of at least two standardized outcome measures, global functioning and target symptom (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc), as well as one process measure (i.e. therapeutic alliance, session depth, emotional experiencing, etc) evaluated on at least three separate occasions. Optimally, such a report would include several outcome measures assessing a wide array of functioning such as global functioning, target symptoms (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc), subjective well-being, interpersonal functioning, social/occupational functioning and measures of personality, as well as relevant process measures evaluated at multiple times across treatment.
  2. At minimum specific outcome data should be presented using standardized mean difference (i.e. effect size) and clinical significance methodology (i.e. unchanged, reliable change, movement into functional distribution, clinically significant change, and deterioration; see Jacobson et al., 1999). Submission of both successful and unsuccessful treatment cases are encouraged. In addition, it might be quite instructive to compare and contrast the technical interventions that occurred during a positive change case with that of a clinically unchanged or deteriorated case from the same approach to treatment.
  3. Verbatim clinical vignettes with several patient and therapist turns highlighting key interventions and mechanisms of change regarding the specific approach to treatment should be provided. Discussion of therapeutic interventions should not be presented from a global or abstract perspective.
  4. Appropriate informed consent must be obtained. It is suggested that interested authors review several Evidence-Based Case Studies that have been published since 2011 as templates for their work (Escudero, Boogmans, Loots, & Friedlander, 2012; Grasso, Joselow, Marquez & Webb, 2011; Satir et al., 2011; Tasca et al., 2011). In addition, Hill and colleagues (2008) as well as Mayotte-Blum and colleagues (2012) provide a good template of this Evidence-Based Case Study format. Finally, Strupp and colleagues (1992) provide extensive verbatim clinical vignettes from a failed treatment that are quite instructive regarding possible indicators of treatment termination, with initial scores on several assessment measures. Simple analyses of standardized outcome measures by way of clinical significance and effect size methods are sufficient, all of which can be readily tabulated by hand or with a calculator. Any authors who have conducted an effectiveness or efficacy trial on a particular type of treatment that have collected standardized process and outcome measures across treatment in addition to the use of audio/videotape of sessions should consider submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study. Likewise, any clinician in private practice who would like to add these elements at the initiation of a new case should also consider submitting to this special series. Anyone who may have an interest in submitting an Evidence-Based Case Study is invited to contact me if they have any questions about this process at: Psychotherapy@adelphi.edu.

References:

American Psychological Assciation, (2002). Criteria for evaluating treatment guidelines. American Psychologist, 57,   1052–1059.

American Psychological Assciation, (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology. American Psychologist, 61, 271–285.

Escudero, V., Boogmans, E., Loots, G., & Friedlander, M. (2012). Alliance Rupture and Repair in Conjoint Family Therapy: An Exploratory Study. Psychotherapy, 49, 26–37.

Grasso, D., Joselow, B., Marquez, Y., & Webb, C. (2011). Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of a Child with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychotherapy, 48, 188–197.

Hill, C., Sim, W., Spangler, P., Stahl, J., Sullivan, C., & Teyber, E. (2008). Therapist immediacy in brief psychotherapy: Case study II. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 298–315.

Jacobson, N., Roberts, L., Berns, S., & McGlinchey, J. (1999). Methods for defining and determining the clinical significance of treatment effects: Description, application, and alternatives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 300–307.

Mayotte-Blum, J., Slavin-Mulford, J., Lehmann, M., Pesale, F., Becker-Matero, N., & Hilsenroth, M. (2012). Therapeutic Immediacy Across Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: An Evidence-Based Case Study. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 27–40.

Satir, D., Goodman, D., Shingleton, R., Porcerelli, J., Gorman, B., Pratt, E., Barlow, D., & Thompson-Brenner, H. (2011). Alliance-Focused Therapy for Anorexia Nervosa: Integrative Relational and Behavioral Change Treatments in a Single-Case Experimental Design. Psychotherapy, 48, 401–420.

Strupp, Schacht, Henry, & Binder (1992). Jack M.: A case of premature termination. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 29, 191–205.

Tasca, G., Foot, M., Leite, C., Maxwell, H., Balfour, L., & Bissada, H. (2011). Interpersonal Process in Psychodynamic-Interpersonal and Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy: A Systematic Case Study of Two Groups. Psychotherapy, 48, 260–273.

 

 



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