Feedback in psychotherapy

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Abstract

Feedback is defined as a response to an action that shapes or adjusts that action in subsequent performance. Though its pervasiveness in human behavior is noted, feedback in clinical practice is a deliberate psychological intervention that has two essential functions, information and influence. Feedback can be descriptive, evaluative, emotional, and interpretive. The role of feedback in promoting change through interpersonal influence and the role of resistance in the feedback process are discussed. We present practical examples and suggestions for maximizing the effectiveness of feedback and responding therapeutically to resistance. Current outcome research on feedback as a major component of treatment is reviewed and discussed. Implications of the feedback literature for practice are provided. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol/In Session.

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