Elements that enhance therapeutic alliance and short-term outcomes in metacognitive reflection and insight therapy: A session-by-session assessment.

Adi Lavi-Rotenberg, Eran Bar-Kalifa, Steven de Jong, Libby Igra, Paul H. Lysaker, Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Preliminary evidence has found metacognitive capacity is associated with therapeutic alliance and with other outcomes in psychotherapy among persons with schizophrenia. The current study explored: (a) before to after changes in clients’ metacognition capacity following Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy (MERIT) and (b) whether the use of specific therapeutic elements of MERIT were followed by higher ratings of therapeutic alliance at the end of each session as well as with short-term outcome as measured prior to the next session, in a session-by-session intensive data collection. Method: Two hundred twenty-one sessions of 10 completers with schizophrenia who took part in an ongoing MERIT trial were analyzed. Measures of therapeutic alliance (short version of the Working Alliance Inventory), general outcome (Outcome Rating Scale), and metacognition (Metacognition Assessment Scale–Abbreviated) were used. Results: Findings showed significant change in 2 domains of metacognition, self-reflectivity and mastery, following therapy. In addition, the presence of 2 specific MERIT elements, the introduction of the therapist’s mind and reflecting on the progress in therapy within a given session, were related to better outcomes in the following week. Finally, reflecting on the progress was also followed by higher therapeutic alliance. Conclusions: Metacognitively oriented therapy may positively affect both therapeutic alliance and short-term outcome. Specifically discussing the therapist’s and client’s experiences of what is occurring in therapy may positively affect short-term outcome and could be applicable to other psychotherapy approaches. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)Impact and Implications: Findings showed significant change in clients’ metacognitive capacity for self-reflectivity and mastery following therapy. In addition, specific therapeutic elements of Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy, that is, discussion of the therapist’s and client’s experiences of what is occurring in therapy, were followed by either higher rating of therapeutic alliance at the end of the sessions or better outcome in next-session assessment, thus indicating the importance of metacognitively oriented therapy. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • MERIT
  • metacognition
  • outcome
  • schizophrenia
  • therapeutic alliance

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