The Top 10 Theories and Concepts of the Treatment, Intervention, Prevention and Supervision Section of the exam

Treatment, Intervention, Prevention, and Supervision is the hallmark of the work that most of us think of when considering the traditional role of a mental health professional and many might feel confident in this area of the exam. Try not to let this distract you from the fact that the material presented is highly detailed and in depth, still requiring extensive review. This area of the exam is integrated into multiple areas of the EPPP. Learning Theory, Clinical Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology all touch on this topic. This area of the exam is one of the most highly emphasized on the EPPP. Be sure to allow sufficient time to familiarize yourself with topics related to treatment and intervention. To start your review, here are the top 10 theories and concepts you want to be sure to be familiar with for this section of the exam on the EPPP:

1. Psychodynamic Psychotherapies

In getting started with learning the various forms of psychotherapy, it is helpful to know the psychologists associated with each approach to treatment. For example, you need to be able to connect Jung with Analytical Psychotherapy and Adler to concepts such as style of life and teleological approach. Understand how each of these individuals view maladaptive behavior along with the therapy goals and techniques associated with their theory/approach.

2. Humanistic and Constructivist Psychotherapies

The humanistic psychotherapies include person-centered therapy, Gestalt therapy, and existential therapy. Understand the personality theory that is connected to these approaches to treatment and intervention along with how therapists who practice these psychotherapies view maladaptive behavior. Finally, what are the goals and techniques specific to each approach to treatment?

3. Brief Therapies and Group Therapy

What are the brief therapies the EPPP covers and when might you decide to utilize them in treatment with clients? To add, what are the therapy goals derived from each form of treatment? Be able to know that a goal of therapy for the transtheoretical model is creating interventions that match the client’s stage of change.

4. Prevention

There are three levels of prevention which include primary, secondary, and tertiary. Understand the differences between each level and be able to provide an example. Often, the EPPP will provide an example in the form of a factitious scenario and ask you to identify which of the three forms of prevention it is an example of. If you know the three levels of prevention are primary, secondary, and tertiary, you will immediately be able to eliminate one answer choice.

5. Mental Health Consultation

Caplan introduced 4 approaches to mental health consultation which varies based on who is the focus of the consultation meeting. Be able to understand the differences and identify what form of consultation is occurring when presented with a case example on the exam.

6. Psychotherapy Research

There are numerous studies that have been conducted to look at the effectiveness of treatment and psychotherapy. Some studies have been able to provide evidence to its effectiveness along with the average amount of time provided to a client before improvement is noticed. Be familiar with the research of Eysenck (24 outcome studies between 1920-1950), Smith, Glass, & Miller (Meta-analysis and effect size), and Howard,, who introduced a phase model to treatment.

7. Interventions Based on Classical Conditioning

We all tend to think of Pavlov and his research with dogs when the term classical conditioning comes up, but classical conditioning lays the groundwork for numerous approaches to treatment and intervention, including in vivo aversion therapy, EMDR, systematic desensitization, in vivo exposure with response prevention, and implosive therapy. Be able to understand and provide examples for each approach to treatment.

8. Interventions Based on Operant Conditioning

There are quite a few interventions that stem from the basic concepts of operant conditioning. These include but are not limited to: shaping, chaining, thinning, social skills training, and contingency contracts. Be able to understand the differences of each along with extinction and factors that influence the effectiveness of extinction in therapy.

9. Supervision (Parallel Process)

Parallel Process is quite common during the supervisory relationship and happens when a therapist replicates problems or symptoms with the supervisor that are being manifested by the therapist’s client. Be able to provide an example of this scenario for the exam.

10. Therapist-Client Matching

Similarities and differences amongst therapists and their clients has an impact on effectiveness. Be familiar with the research that looks at matching along with premature termination.

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