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Therapists’ ability to foster epistemic trust – analyzing the language of MBT with the Therapist attunement scales (TASc)

Frederik Weischer Frandsen, ph.d. studerende, psykolog (cand.psych.aut.). Psykoterapeutisk Forskningsenhed, Psykoterapeutisk Center Stolpegård

Aim: The aim of this presentation is presenting MBT interventions through the lens of the Therapist Attunement Scales (TASc). Methods: The TASc is a transcript-based instrument that assesses therapists' epistemic style, based on verbatim transcripts of single therapy sessions. Therapist interventions are assigned a marker that is associated with one of five scales: Self-state conjecture, Emphatic validation, Joining, Detaching, Coercing. Therapists are assigned an epistemic style as balanced, avoidant or coercive based on the configuration these subscales. The TASc will be used on both 1) prototypical MBT interventions from expert clinicians and 2) on a sample of 24 individual sessions (12 start/end of treatment) from a RCT. Results: 1) Prototypical MBT interventions coded with the TASc will be discussed with a focus on similarities/differences between prescribed MBT interventions and the language of therapists with different epistemic styles. 2) Results on the degree of stability of epistemic styles across treatment of the 12 different therapists will be presented. Conclusions: As our research is ongoing, we will state the following hypothesis: 1) We expect to find that typical MBT interventions will include markers found in the language of therapist with balanced epistemic styles. We also expect to see that some interventions that does not impact the evaluation of a therapists’ epistemic style in the TASc, is seen as crucial in MBT. 2) We expect to find that therapists’ epistemic styles are stable across treatment, with minor variations in the types of markers found between beginning and end of treatment.

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