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The Impact of Positive Therapist Characteristics on Outcome of Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (Research Proposal Sample)


It is hypothesized that high levels of positive characteristics (empathy, unconditional positive regard and genuineness) will lead to successful outcomes in CBT. Each of the three characteristics are measured separately and linked to therapeutic outcome so as to see high levels of which specific factor lead to most successful outcomes.


The Impact of Positive Therapist Characteristics on Outcome of Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy
Unit Name and Code: Psychology 1B, PSY 1022
The purpose of this study is to investigate how positive therapist characteristics such as empathy, genuineness, and an overall positive attitude affect the outcome of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. It is hypothesized that high levels of these positive characteristics (independent variable) would lead to successful therapeutic outcome (dependent variable) highlighting improvement in client’s wellbeing and social and global functioning. Participants are 100 university students from three different universities: Monash University, Sunway College University of Nottingham Malaysia. These participants are self-selected. They will be provided either two tests; The Barlett-Lenard Relationship Inventory (RI), for the measurement of positive characteristics and The Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) for outcome of therapy. If the hypothesis is supported and positive therapist characteristics correlate positively with outcome, psychotherapists can be educated on the importance of having these qualities and through training programs, can be taught how to practice using an attitude that has these positive characteristics.
Psychotherapy research indicates that a positive agreeable relationship between the therapist and client, dictated by principles of empathy, warmth and genuineness, is the foundation upon which effective therapy is built (Stott, 2010). Cognitive behavioral therapists use these principles to analyze the thoughts and behaviors associated with an array of situations and childhood experiences.
Vyskocilova, Prasko, and Slepecky (2011) believe that empathy makes facts more acceptable for the client leading to psychological improvement. Empathy helps cognitive behavioral psychotherapists to appreciate the fundamental components of the emotional experiences of the client on a neurobiological level where shared neural representations provide us with a simulation of complementary sensorimotor experiences (Goldman 2009).
Tilliman (2016) hypothesized in his study that unconditional positive regard correlates positively with improvement in the overall psychological functional of the client. He conducted a study of 31 college in therapy at the college counselling center and administered two specific tests for the measurement of variables. Results supported the hypothesis but generalization was inhibited by small sample size.

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