The purpose of the present paper is to describe how Deliberate Practice (DP) can be used to assist individual therapists develop expertise and improve their ability to effect change in their clients' psychotherapy outcomes. The author provides a targeted review of this literature and articulates a method of training therapists based on this relatively new and exciting concept. The initial training of psychotherapists represents an important milestone in an often lifelong career and one that is marked with a continuous professional development trajectory. While it is particularly important to achieve competency in many foundational skills and techniques during training, this method of training and continuous development of therapists does relatively little to engage individual practitioners based on their individual needs, which are said to be vast. Individual therapist effects account for a large proportion of the variance of client outcomes. However, historically, the individual therapist has been given little consideration. DP seeks to move beyond the standardized competency framework and provide a highly individualized training regime to therapists based on their individual deficits identified through data mining and linked to factors of therapy practice that have demonstrated to impact client outcomes; and as such, they can be leveraged by therapists. The findings of this review are used to inform seven recommendations for practitioners, training institutes, and regulatory bodies to consider for the initial and continuous development of therapists.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.