demonstrate the ability to use common factor competencies to manage emotional distress and maintain therapeutic alliances to support patients using low-intensity interventions

Talking about reflective case studies

Common factor skills as a psychological well-being practitioner. (A uk based mental health role under the iapt service) there is several research around this.

Richard and whyte (2011)
Papworth 2019
Bennett levy 2010
Lambert and barley 2001
Mcevoy et al 2013

If you type in psychological well-being practitioner IAPT then lots will come up.

The question is: demonstrate the ability to use common factor competencies to manage emotional distress and maintain therapeutic alliances to support patients using low-intensity interventions (maintaining patient engagement)

This question is quite long but it basically means
Giving examples of times that I have demonstrated skills that maintain patient engagement in the interventions and also interpersonal skills.. following this up with the research that supports this and what it means for the wider service


Therapeutic alliance
Psychological well-being practitioner
IAPT service
Low intensity CBT
Guided self help
Treatment sessions
Self-help materials
Empathetic curiosity
Patients presentation
Collaborative working

Strengths to discuss:

I use empathy to aid the therapeutic relationship by checking in on clients week and acknowledging any changes/achievements to their goals that they have made as well as facilitating the space to discuss any setbacks.
Giving the client verbal appraisals for the steps theyve made towards the goals can make them feel appreciated and also provide the space for them to see that changes are happening even if they are minor.

Talking clients through setbacks provides the space to normalise their experiences and identify the areas they need support in, whether thats outside of therapy e.g. circumstantial things like finances and social world
And even in therapy. For example if they are struggling with techniques and homework tasks then we discuss any issues they are having and identify whether any adaptations need to be made.

Con – this causes us to go over time and opens up the floor for clients to bring up things outside of realms of therapy,
I try to curb this by using statements to bring us back to the focus of therapy.
PWP work is based on research that says therapy should be time-limited. So sessions are expected to be no longer than 30minutes which can be very tight, making it difficult to factor in certain considerations like being collaborative, attentive, empathetic and well-paced (even though this is supposed to be the core skills of a PWP)

I try to normalise the clients experiences and relate the research/self-help materials to themselves. I find using analogies really helps to keep clients engaged because they have to use their imagination (this is especially relevant in telephone assessments) however in video calls they can actually see the screen so I try to use diagrams and pictures where appropriate.

Trying to make materials adaptable. Some clients find it daunting to have to Carry around the booklets/guides just so they can practice techniques. Making the techniques adaptable by incorporating the use of their phone can be helpful, because its easier for them to use, they can always transfer it to the booklets later, its modern (reduces the stigma with carrying around the guide) they may not want people to see this and can make the techniques more motivating. Its also easier to use in real time for example when using worry time, clients may find it easier and quicker to write their worries down in their phone notes. This is especially relevant to the times we are in now where everything has had to shift and adapt to digital, more accessible ways of working
I try to demonstrate active listening through the use of reflections and relaying back the clients own words (checking that I understand their perspective)
There are times in sessions where patients may get upset/distressed about the things we speak about. In those moments it can be helpful to demonstrate empathy through my choice of words- letting clients know that I hear how difficult it is for them but also providing them the space to take a minute if they too: and verbally expressing this also e.g. its ok, just let me know whenever you are ready. This is also a good opportunity to normalise clients experiences -letting them know that they are not silly or shouldnt feel embarrassed to cry. We all do it sometimes and its a normal response when things are difficult.
If you can add anything to this, that would be really helpful. And also If you can think of anything in the research that supports/goes against this please do add, elements of criticism would be really good. Thank you

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