Assessing therapist and clinician competency in parent-infant psychotherapy: The REARING coding system (RCS) for the group attachment based intervention (GABI)

Submitted: July 2, 2021
Accepted: February 11, 2022
Published: March 1, 2022
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The development of fidelity and quality measures for the dissemination of evidence-based practices is an often-neglected, vital step in the implementation of psychological interventions, especially within parent-infant mental health. The current study aims to address this gap by developing a competency-based measure for clinicians delivering the Group Attachment Based Intervention (GABI). GABI is an intervention aimed at supporting family preservation in parents who have experienced disparities across multiple systems of care. After observing over 100 hours of clinical video, the research team, comprised of clinicians and academic researchers, developed a competency coding system to measure clinician efficacy titled the REARING coding system (RCS). This paper outlines the development and structure of the measure, including a detailed discussion of the model of therapeutic action (i.e., REARING: reflective functioning, emotional attunement, affect regulation, reticence, intergenerational transmission of attachment, nurturance, and group therapy context), as well as provides a clinical case study to illustrate the utility, flexibility, and depth of the measure. The case study details a family session consisting of a mother, father, and two children (one infant, one toddler), and how RCS can be used in supervision to foster clinical competency and effectiveness in the GABI model. RCS seeks to address the dissemination gap in Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) by contributing to the limited number of existing fidelity and competency measures in infant mental health and psychodynamic dyadic psychotherapy. RCS is an important tool for monitoring clinical competency in the dissemination of GABI and gives supervisors the ability to provide fidelity-focused supervisions.

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How to Cite

Armusewicz, K., Steele, M., Steele, H., & Murphy, A. (2022). Assessing therapist and clinician competency in parent-infant psychotherapy: The REARING coding system (RCS) for the group attachment based intervention (GABI). Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2022.562

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