Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (2010), 38:291-302 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2010

Research Article

Therapist Training and Supervision in Clinical Trials: Implications for Clinical Practice

Anthony D. Rotha1 c1, Stephen Pillinga1 and Jenny Turnera1

a1 University College London, UK
Article author query
roth ad [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
pilling s [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
turner j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Background: Researchers in clinical trials usually pay close attention to therapist selection, training, supervision and monitoring, but the extent of this input has not been systematically documented. Aims: To describe the extent of training and supervision activity within clinical trials, and to consider any implications for transporting therapies from research to routine clinical contexts. Method: Twenty-seven randomized studies examining the efficacy of CBT interventions for people with depression or anxiety disorders were selected on the basis of their quality and impact on the field. Published and unpublished sources were used to gather information about therapist selection, training and supervision within these trials. Results: The review identified the extent of investment by researchers in assuring therapist expertise, adherence and competence. It also indicated inconsistencies in the clarity with which this input was reported. Conclusions: The ubiquity of intervention-specific training in research contexts risks being overlooked when commissioning evidence-based therapies in routine practice. This has clear implications for the likely effectiveness of interventions. Greater consistency in the reporting of training in clinical trials may help to draw attention to the role of training and supervision in maximizing clinical outcomes.

(Online publication April 06 2010)

Keywords:Therapist competence; training; supervision


c1 Reprint requests to Anthony D. Roth, Joint Course Director, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: A supplementary file detailing trials is available online in the table of contents for this issue: