Dr Shaun Halovic1,2, Dr Anthony Korner1,2, Mr Mohammed Shadab Younus1,2, Associate Professor Loyola McLean1,2, Dr Clare Chapman1,2, Dr Joan Haliburn1,2, Associate Professor Janine Stevenson1,2, Associate Professor David Butt3, Dr Phillip Graham1, Dr Stephen Malloch1,2, Dr Tessa Phillips1, Emeritus Professor Russell Meares1
1Westmead Psychotherapy Program, Cumberland Hospital, North Parramatta, Australia, 2Sydney University, Camperdown, Australia, 3Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, Australia
The typical approach to measure psychotherapeutic progress is through the use of psychometric questionnaires. Questionnaires can provide a standard baseline that is easily replicable in multiple settings however, they are limited by the numerical reporting methodology underlying the psychometric structure. Patients often struggle to interpret the questions appropriately, which is often exasperated by their reduced functional capacity. Therefore, a mixed-methods approach was taken to allow a deeper explanation about how the patient feels and changed over the course of Conversational Model Therapy (CMT). Clinical interviews and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) were completed with 33 patient participants at the start of CMT and after one year of CMT. There were significant improvement in psychotherapeutic outcomes for the BSI global level of distress and for the obsessive-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoia, and psychoticism subscales. Clinical notes from the interviews were qualitatively analysed separately by two independent authors. Overall, the participants found therapy helpful (n = 24), especially for their anxiety. Seven participants reported a reduction in suicidal ideation and being in a romantic relationship facilitated this improvement (Coupled n = 5 vs. Single n = 2). Contrary to common stereotypes, 23 of the 33 patients were either working or wanted to work at the start of therapy, which further improved to 25 patients after one year of therapy. A year of psychotherapy showed improved patient outcomes that were both statistically significant and meaningly significant to the patients.
Mohammed Younus holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology & Neuroscience (Hons) and currently in the last year of Doctor of Medicine. Recently, Mr Younus completed an elective term at the Westmead Psychotherapy Program that focuses on Conversational Model Therapy. He is particularly interested in trauma, attachment theory and polyvagal theory.