Impact of Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy Training on Self Awareness and Ability for Contact

A new article by Biljana van Rijn, Ciara Wild, Heather Fowlie, Charlotte Sills, and Servaas van Beekum is published in the International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research, Vol 2, No 1 (2011).


This research was a small scale quantitative study involving students undergoing Relational Transactional Analysis psychotherapy training at Metanoia Institute in London in the UK between September 2007 and July 2008. The researchers aimed to evaluate the impact of the training on students’ psychological health, using the ‘Autonomy Questionnaire’ (Beekum & Krijgsman, 2000). This allowed measurement of developments in students’ self awareness and ability for contact with others during their second year of training (first year of clinical practice) compared to students in their 4th and final year. The scope of the study and the findings are exploratory. The research raises questions for further research in the areas of psychotherapy training and supervision.

The full text is available to all as a pdf from the Journal’s website, just register:

Research Clinic Approach to the Evaluation of Integrative and Humanistic Psychotherapies

An article by Biljana van Rijn & Ciara Wild, published in The British Journal of Psychotherapy integration. Volume 7, Issue 2 (2010)

The co-editors of this issue write in the editorial that

Biljana [van Rijn !] and Ciara Wild provide an example of setting up a research clinic to gather practice-based evidence on the effectiveness of both integrative psychotherapy and transactional analysis. This style of research, we believe, can contribute to the current and very political debate on therapeutic effectiveness by providing information from  these two approaches which hitherto have not received attention in the current public debates.

Article abstract:

This article presents a research project that led to the development of a research clinic within Metanoia Institute. The research is an evaluation of brief Integrative Psychotherapy and Transactional Analysis within primary care using standardised outcome measures, the Working Alliance Inventory and the measure of adherence to the therapeutic model. The research demonstrates effectiveness of these approaches within NHS and suggests a model of evaluation that can be used within different clinical settings.

Article about the research clinic at Metanoia

I’ve published an article in Therapy Today (July 2010, Vol.21/Issue6) about the research clinic at Metanoia. The article is part of the BACP research section in the journal and gives concise background information about the set up of the clinic,  its research aims and outcomes at this stage.

Research clinic at Metanoia

The Metanoia Institute has set up a research clinic using its existing clinical services, which both practitioners and clients are enthusiastic about taking part in.

“Based on this experience we are now planning to expand the research clinic to cover the whole of the service at MCPS [Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service], which currently numbers 72 practitioners, and all the theoretical orientations practiced here.”

An Enquiry into Psychotherapy Training-Abstract

An Enquiry into Psychotherapy Training.
Challenges to developing a generic foundation year and links to clinical practice training.

A project submitted to Middlesex University in collaboration with Metanoia Institute in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor in Psychotherapy by Professional studies in 2005.


This document presents an action research enquiry into psychotherapy and counselling training within the context of a training institute.
The starting point for the enquiry were the apparent gaps that exist in clinical practice training. Recognising that the commonly used training structure in psychotherapy and counselling training, which separates clinical practice, formal teaching and supervision, often leads to practice and training disparity raising ethical concerns, I aimed to use the enquiry to enhance the effectiveness of clinical training.
I formulated two research questions:
•    Could a more generic psychotherapy training in the foundation year serve as a better preparation for clinical practice?
•    Would it be possible to develop an integrated structure between clinical practice, training and supervision?
These questions led to developing the project in two parts:
•    An exploration of the feasibility of a generic foundation year, and
•    The development of  an internship component.
The methodology I used was action research, particularly relevant to this enquiry because of the focus on developing practical knowledge through involvement with an organisational system. Another aspect of the enquiry was internal consultancy. As well as being a researcher, I acted as a consultant for the organisation I worked for.
The organisational setting was the Metanoia Institute, a counselling and psychotherapy training institute based in London. The Metanoia Institute runs several courses in counselling and psychotherapy – Person Centred, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt and Integrative – as well as a Doctoral programme in psychotherapy in collaboration with Middlesex University. Middlesex University validates the academic programme at the Metanoia Institute, which leads to BA and MSc awards in counselling and psychotherapy. The Institute also contains an internal clinical placement for students – Metanoia Counselling and Psychotherapy Service (MCPS), which I manage.
The Metanoia Institute sponsored the enquiry and acted as a principal collaborator throughout.
The project shows how the process of enquiry initiated a dynamic of organisational change, highlighting systemic issues and challenges to the development of psychotherapy training, particularly in relation to generic training. The implementation of the findings became possible through focusing on internship, which became the central area for development within the project. The final outcome of the research has been used to develop an extensive pilot project, entailing restructuring of the training programme in one of the academic departments.
As well as presenting the enquiry, this document discusses the theme of organisational change and suggests that it offers a lens through which issues of professional integration could be viewed from a systemic (organisational) perspective. Particular themes  highlighted by the enquiry relate to:
•    Issues of culture and identity related to allegiance to a particular theoretical orientation
•    Factors related to the structure and funding of training organisations, and
•    The role of clinical practice in the process of professional integration

preferred referencing: Van Rijn, B. (2005) An Enquiry into Psychotherapy Training. Challenges to developing a generic foundation year and links to clinical practice training.(D.Psych) Middlesex University, Metanoia Institute.

Thesis Bibliography

Van Rijn, B. (2005) An Enquiry into Psychotherapy Training. Challenges to developing a generic foundation year and links to clinical practice training.(D.Psych) Middlesex University, Metanoia Institute.

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