Do Things Change in Therapy That Are Not Measured by Self-report Instruments?

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology


Clinical practice, Depression measures


This study investigates a new way of assessing change in psychotherapy, with the goal of decreasing the schism in the field of psychology between research and clinical practice. Change in psychotherapy was assessed in clients presenting with depressive symptoms who were seeking therapy at the Professional Psychology Center (PPC) at the University of Denver. Prior to beginning treatment, the subjects completed the Beck Depression Inventory- II (BDI-II) and the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90), and were also assessed by independent clinicians using the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure II (SWAP-II). Six to nine months later, after completing at least 12 psychotherapy sessions (range 12-21 sessions), the assessment procedure was repeated.There were no significant differences pre- to post-treatment on any measure. However, two subjects in the sample appeared to benefit from treatment, as assessed by both the self-report measures and the SWAP-II. The findings for these two subjects suggest that the SWAP-II can provide a greater depth of understanding about what can change in therapy than self-report measures alone. Possible reasons for the lack of treatment effects in the larger sample are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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