Self-practice and self-reflection in cognitive behaviour therapy training: what factors influence trainees' engagement and experience of benefit?

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2014 Jan;42(1):48-64. doi: 10.1017/S1352465812000781. Epub 2012 Nov 2.


Background: Previous studies of self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR) CBT training have found that trainees report significant benefits from practising CBT techniques on themselves (self-practice) and reflecting on their experience (self-reflection) as a formal part of their CBT training. However, not all trainees experience the same level of benefit from SP/SR and not all types of training course produce benefits to the same extent.

Aims: This paper examines the question: What factors influence trainees' reported benefit from SP/SR? The aim was to develop a model to maximize the value of SP/SR training.

Method: The authors used a grounded theory analysis of four SP/SR training courses, varying along several dimensions, to derive a model that could account for the data.

Results: A model was derived comprising of seven elements: Two outcomes - "Experience of Benefit" and "Engagement with the Process" - that mutually influence one another; and five other influencing factors - "Course Structure and Requirements", "Expectation of Benefit", "Feeling of Safety with the Process", "Group Process", and "Available Personal Resources" - that mediate the impact on Engagement with the Process and Experience of Benefit from SP/SR.

Conclusions: A model that provides guidance about the best ways to set up and develop SP/SR programs has been developed. This model may now be subject to empirical testing by trainers and researchers. Implications and recommendations for the design and development of future SP/SR programs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / education*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Education, Graduate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness*
  • Motivation
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Practice, Psychological*
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome