What is it about?

This qualitative study identified multilevel factors that affect how and whether therapists serving publicly insured clients in New York City prepare for therapy sessions. Therapists reported that insufficient time and resources, high productivity standards, and the management of client clinical and social complexities hinder their ability to session plan. Therapists also identified several multilevel factors that facilitate their session planning and generated several multilevel recommendations to support their session planning.

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Why is it important?

Our study’s unique contribution is its focus on one core aspect of nearly all evidence-based practices (EBPs)—session planning. Our study sought to identify whether public mental health settings offer the necessary resources, time, and infrastructure to enable clinicians to invest in session preparation. Our study reveals that in public mental health settings, therapists rarely have opportunities to plan for sessions. That real-world settings often do not provide the necessary conditions for a core aspect of EBPs suggests that successful EBP implementation efforts cannot occur in a sustainable way without significant transformations to public mental health service provision.

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This page is a summary of: From plan to practice: A qualitative study of public mental health therapists’ session-planning practices., Psychological Services, February 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ser0000840.
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