As a graduate student, Mark Hilsenroth, PhD, would read Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training cover to cover. For him, the journal was a tremendous repository of useful insights that helped clarify both his clinical work and research interests. After he graduated, Hilsenroth published extensively in the journal on such topics as the client-therapist relationship and therapist technique, as well as how these two important treatment processes relate to one another and outcome.
These days, as a psychology professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., Hilsenroth still reads every page of the journal. And now he’ll edit it, too.
“This journal has something for everyone,” says Hilsenroth. “What makes it so useful is the practical orientation for people who are treating patients.”
Hilsenroth hopes some small changes can make Psychotherapy even more helpful to practitioners, researchers and teachers. One is offering links from the journal’s Web page to supplemental material, including free statistical programs to calculate clinically relevant information, such as effect size and reliable change, as well as resources to help authors present their findings in clear, standardized formats. He’ll also encourage authors to report data in more straightforward and relevant terms, such as the percentage of patients in a study who demonstrate clinically significant change. “I want people who read articles to clearly understand how many patients were getting better, to what degree and why,” says Hilsenroth.
In fact, says Hilsenroth, there is a direct connection between Psychotherapy and the patients that readers help on a daily basis. If the information in the journal is clear and relatable, practitioners can better put these interventions into practice. The journal already features many articles that paint a clear portrait of what works, what doesn’t and why, but Hilsenroth plans to publish even more in a new section called “Evidence-Based Case Studies.” The section will combine clinical vignettes with process and outcome data so people can see what’s working in treatment.
By making these clinically focused articles into a regular series, Hilsenroth hopes he can open an avenue for publication to those in full-time private practice who are interested in integrating research measures into their clinical work.
“I believe such a series will be extremely useful in efforts to bridge the gap between research and practice, as well as provide important templates of how to integrate basic research into applied work at the individual case level,” says Hilsenroth.