Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Peer counselling versus role-playing: Two training methods of therapeutic skills in clinical psychology

José Ruiz Rodríguez, Arturo Bados López, Adela Fusté Escolano, Eugeni García-Grau, Carmina Saldaña García, Gemma Balaguer Fort, Teresa Lluch, and Mar Arcos Pros

Universidad de Barcelona

Background: Training programmes for clinical psychologists should include evidence-based teaching methods that enable trainees to learn therapeutic skills. Here we compared the perceived utility of role-playing vs. peer counselling. In peer counselling, one student recounts a personal experience to the other, who thus has the opportunity to act as the therapist in relation to a real situation. Given that sharing such personal experiences may provoke discomfort in students, we also examined this aspect. Method: Trainees (n=202) were given both role-play and peer counselling activities as a way of practising empathy and active listening. After completing the skills training programme they completed a questionnaire to assess the extent to which each method had helped them to develop their self-awareness and to acquire these therapeutic skills. Results: In general, peer counselling was considered more useful than role-playing for enhancing self-awareness and personal growth, as well as for learning these professional skills. Regarding the discomfort experienced by students, our data suggest that any initial reluctance to share personal experiences is outweighed by the personal and professional benefits obtained. Conclusions: Our results indicate that experiential learning involving emotionally charged situations is an effective way of teaching therapeutic skills to clinical and health psychology trainees.

Peer counselling versus role-playing: dos métodos de entrenamiento de habilidades terapéuticas en Psicología Clínica. Antecedentes: los programas de formación para psicólogos clínicos deben contar con métodos docentes, empíricamente validados, que permitan aprender y practicar las habilidades terapéuticas. En este trabajo se comparó la utilidad percibida del role playing vs peer counselling. En el peer counselling, el alumno que hace de cliente relata una experiencia personal, y el que hace de terapeuta tiene la oportunidad de trabajar con material real. Dado que el intercambio de experiencias personales puede provocar incomodidad, también analizamos este aspecto. Método: 202 alumnos ejecutaron diversos role playings y peer counsellings para entrenar empatía y escucha activa. Después de finalizar el programa de entrenamiento completaron un cuestionario para evaluar el grado de utilidad de cada ejercicio para desarrollar su autoconocimiento y para adquirir estas habilidades. Resultados: en general, el peer counselling se consideró más útil que role playing para mejorar el autoconocimiento, así como para el aprendizaje de estas habilidades. En cuanto a la incomodidad experimentada por los estudiantes, nuestros datos sugieren que cualquier reticencia inicial para compartir experiencias personales se ve compensado por los beneficios personales y profesionales obtenidos. Conclusiones: nuestros datos indican que el aprendizaje experiencial con carga emocional es una forma efectiva de enseñar habilidades terapéuticas en psicología sanitaria.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)