Do Better Trainees Make Worse Family Therapists? A Followup Study of Client Families Academic Article uri icon


  • This study was designed to evaluate the effects of training on family therapy outcome and to validate measures of cognitive/perceptual and executive skills. Followup data on family satisfaction were obtained from 176 individuals (73 families) treated by 12 trainee family therapists in their first or second year of training. The prediction that clients' scores on a scale of family satisfaction with therapy (FSS) would increase with training was not confirmed. Instead, there was a tendency for FSS scores to decrease with training. However, trainees' ratings of outcome did increase significantly as training progressed. Cognitive/perceptual and executive skill measures were not validated by the FSS, but negative associations indicated a tendency for trainees with high course-skills to receive poor FSS scores. The results suggest that trainees became more confident as they acquired technical skills, but that they put aside their nonspecific therapist skills as training progressed, to the dissatisfaction of families.

publication date

  • March 1990