Book of abstracts of the 37th International meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, Edinburgh, Schotland pages:56-57
International Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research edition:37 location:Edinburgh, Scotland date:21-25 June, 2006
The Psychological Contact Scale (PCS) is an 18-item post-session questionnaire for clients or therapists to assess each other's engagement in psychological contact in therapy sessions. Psychological contact was defined by Rogers (1957) as two persons' mutual awareness of each other's experiences. Psychological contact in that sense is the mutual ability to read another's emotional state, intentions and/or thoughts, sometimes referred to as mind reading (Ickes, 2003). While psychological contact is often taken for granted in therapy, it is in fact a fundamental condition for successful therapy and is particularly relevant with psychotic or severely disturbed clients, such as those treated in Prouty’s (1998) Pre-Therapy approach. The PCS was constructed in collaboration with the members of the International Pre-Therapy Network to assess both verbal and non-verbal individuals, including children as well as adults. The PCS is intended to be particularly sensitive to small fluctuations in psychological contact. Results are first reported for a pilot-study of the instrument with therapists and lay-people (n=20), rating the beginning and end of a particular occasion of awkward communication. The PCS showed high inter-item reliabilities (Cronbach alphas of .91 and .86 respectively for beginning and end of the communication episode). We present results of applying a revised version of the PCS, collected from both clients and therapists in a cross-sectional design to assess Body-Oriented psychotherapy sessions. We discuss the instrument's reliability and assessment of construct validity, comparing it to standard self-report instruments of experiential and social skills.