A study exploring the feasibility and integrity of key strategies training
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Many difficulties arise in training counselors to effectively utilize psychotherapeutic techniques, the least of which includes ensuring that therapeutic techniques are effectively taught, successfully learned, and reliably used. Key Strategies Training (KST) aims to teach psychotherapy trainees to understand and implement strategies from three empirically-based treatments (Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Activation, and Emotion-Focused Therapy). This study explores the feasibility and integrity of KST by assessing trainees’ knowledge of key strategies from pretest and post-test essays, and trainees’ ability to demonstrate key strategies and a multidimensional survey in a standardized role-play scenario. Results indicated that students improved in their knowledge of key strategies from pretest to post-test on essays describing key strategies. After receiving KST, students were capable of differentiating between strategies belonging to the three treatment modalities across two phases of treatment. Additionally, results indicated that students were able to adhere to the KST protocol on a role-play demonstration in a competent manner. Implications and limitations of these findings are also discussed, as well as future research directions.