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Process and Outcomes in Psychotherapy

“The Norwegian Multi-Site Project for Studies of Process and Outcome in Psychotherapy”  (NMSPOP) investigates the effectiveness of psychotherapy in Norwegian policlinics. Patients with problems of differing severity receive psychotherapy with varying length. The project investigates change of both type and scope and how change occurs.

The figure shows how patients with varying degrees of severity in pressure of symptoms progress over different lengths of therapy. High starting point=high severity. At termination of therapy there is no difference between the groups with regard to symptom pressure, just total hours in psychotherapy. (Monsen et al. 2008).

About the project

The project is an interdisciplinary cooperation between four research groups to develop a large umbrella project in research of the process and outcome of psychotherapy. The project involves 8 sub-centres with altogether 370 patients shared between 89 psychotherapists.


A range of problematical positions are considered in the project. With a starting point in the main tendencies in psychotherapeutic research the following problems are prioritised.

  • Meaning of therapeutic factors for outcomes: among others; experience, expertise, model capabilities, interpersonal style and capacity to establish a therapeutic relationship.

  • Meaning of patient factors for outcomes: amongst others; personality disorders, level of psychopathology, comorbidity, ego resources, motivation and socio-economic status.

  • Meaning of congruence between therapeutic and patient capabilities for process and outcomes: amongst others similarity/difference with regard to age, gender, socioeconomic background, marital status, phase of life and selected psychological variables ( values, self-image, parental relationships)

  • Study connections between therapeutic alliances, capabilities with the therapeutic process and outcomes

  • Identify and analysis different events in therapy (change events) which the patient and/or therapist identifies as important/totally deciding to achieve change.

In addition researchers can formulate their own issues with a starting point in the available data and seek access to these.


Completed doctoral degrees and post.doc. doctoral degree projects in progress


In whole there are now 22 publications from the project, whereof 20 are international journal articles and 2 are PhD works. There are in all 34 psychology students who have written 22 theses with data from the project.

Published Nov. 7, 2012 10:06 AM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2020 11:35 AM