Therapist training in video chat technology for use in an adaptive digital mental health intervention: Challenges, facilitators and implications for training models

Brooke Andrews, Britt Klein, Denise Corboy, Suzanne McLaren, Shaun Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: This qualitative study investigated therapist training experiences, elements of skill acquisition, and barriers and facilitators associated with conducting assessments, and the delivery of low- and high-intensity therapist assistance delivered via video chat technology, adjunctive to a transdiagnostic digital mental health intervention programme for anxiety and depression.
Methodology: In total, 34 semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 therapists. Twenty interviews explored experiences of training to administer a clinical assessment tool, and 14 additional interviews explored training experiences of delivering low- and high-intensity therapist assistance via video chat technology.
Results: Reflexive thematic analysis identified three themes: video chat skill acquisition, competencies transferrable to video chat and video chat service quality. Training and supervision were identified as important to scaffold skill development, and therapists described surprise that their skill set was transferrable to video chat. The most cited barrier to the adoption of video chat was the management of risk and distress, along with environmental suitability. Frequently cited facilitators to the adoption of video chat included stable Internet connection, protocols and resources.
Conclusion: The benefits of video chat technology and digital mental health interventions can be maximised through the expansion and integration of training into existing teaching curricula. If therapists are familiarised and competent to deliver mental health services via the Internet, as well as in person, the future adoption of blended and stepped-care models is likely to be increased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-829
Number of pages12
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online dateMay 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

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