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In studying the process of psychotherapy, detailed and reliable methods of describing the components are required. Such a method for content analysis of brief psychotherapy sessions is described. It is comprehensive and has satisfactory inter-rater reliability. It proved to have predictive validity in that it identified characteristics of the treatment approach, and most of the changes in therapeutic activity during the course of treatment, that had been predicted beforehand. In addition, similar patterns in the use of therapeutic strategies were found for therapists from different professional backgrounds trained in the same treatment approach. This method of analysis is recommended for future studies of content of psychotherapeutic treatments, including investigations of the relationship between content of treatment and outcome.


Journal article


Br J Med Psychol

Publication Date





164 - 176


Communication, Crisis Intervention, Humans, Mental Disorders, Problem Solving, Professional-Patient Relations, Psychotherapy, Brief, Suicide, Attempted