English summaries

English Summaries (01/2022)

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Iida Heikkinen, Annamari Järviniemi, Aarno Laitila & Kirsti Kumpulainen

The multidimensional therapeutic change within family therapy and methodological challenges relating to its identification

The aim of this study was to investigate the change that occurred in the well-being of a child and his family during their family therapy process. The child had been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Asperger syndrome. The process of change in psychotherapy is often affected by both specific within-therapy factors and nontherapy factors. Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) is a research method utilizing methods for data collection that are often familiar to clinicians which provides an opportunity to bridge the research-practice gap. In this study, we addressed the standard HSCED research questions of whether a change has occurred in the well-being of the child and his family during their family therapy process and whether this possible change was due to the family therapy. In addition, the specific within-therapy factors and nontherapy factors that may have affected this change process were addressed. In this study, the collection of data consisted of video tapes of the family therapy sessions that were conducted both at the family’s home and outside of the family’s house, background information of the family members, and quantitative measurements. The results of this study indicated that positive change occurred in the well-being of the investigated child and his family during the family therapy process, which was very likely substantially due to the effect of the therapy. The within-therapy factors that were possibly affecting the process of change consisted of the adaptable implementation of the therapy both inside and outside of the home of the family, as well as watching the video tapes of the therapy sessions together with the therapists. The nontherapy factors that were possibly affecting the process of change consisted of the birth of the youngest child of the family, the separate psychological treatment of the mother and the father’s commitment towards his career. The outcomes of this study demonstrated the multidimensional nature of the change processes within the framework of psychotherapy as well as the challenges in its identification. A research method that includes both quantitative and qualitative data makes it possible to detect the change that has happened.

Keywords: family therapy research, multidimensional change, identification of change, Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design

Timo Sampolahti & Aarno Laitila

Bruce Wampold’s contextual view of psychotherapy: On the way towards a meta-theory of psychotherapy?

It seems that there are two contradictory trends in the evolution of contemporary psychotherapy: On one hand the multiplicity of different schools of psychotherapy is increasing. But at the same time there have been attempts to create an integrative view of this multiplicity. In our article we attempt to reflect on one such attempt: Bruce Wampold’s contextual view on psychotherapies. Methodologically our article represents a conceptual, historical, and philosophical research on psychotherapeutic theories. We intend to utilize the view from the theory of causal mechanisms to the study of general theory of psychotherapies. Our results can be summarized as follows: 1. Wampold’s theory consists of three separate areas that are logically independent of each other. 2. It is clearly phase specific, rationalistic, and cognitivistic. 3. Thus it is not capable of containing in its scope such psychotherapies that are based on humanistic or psychodynamic views, or which underline unconscious motivations of human behavior. 4. It points correctly to areas that are important or even necessary to consider when we try to understand psychotherapeutic change, but it cannot explain it causally, and it does not represent a so-called middle-level theory of psychotherapy. So, in the end, we contend that Wampold’s theory might be considered as a starting point for developing a generic metamodel of psychotherapy, but at its current stage it is still a preliminary draft for a such general view.

Keywords: Wampold, psychotherapy integration, generic metamodel of psychotherapy

Jenni Vähäsarja, Ronja Leino, Petri Karkkola & Taina Hintsa

Overcommitment to work, burnout and its dimensions in primary school teachers

Working as a teacher is stressful, and thus teachers have a high risk of burning out at work. Burnout has been related both to work characteristics and to individual factors, such as personality characteristics and personal resources. Overcommitment has been defined as a personal tendency characterized by a need for approval and control and difficulties to separate work life and personal life, which can lead to burnout. We studied the association of overcommitment with burnout and its dimensions among teachers. The participants of the study were 76 primary school teachers. Burnout was measured with Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-GS) and overcommitment with five questions. The data was analyzed by examining bilateral relationships with Pearson correlations, and the association of overcommitment with burnout and its dimensions was analyzed by linear regression analysis. Overcommitment was associated with overall burnout and with emotional exhaustion and cynicism. No association of overcommitment with decreased personal accomplishment was observed. In conclusion, overcommitment seems to be associated especially with exhaustion and cynicism in primary school teachers. These new findings should be taken into account when developing programs and interventions aimed at reducing teacher burnout risk.

Keywords: overcommitment, teachers, burnout, exhaustion, cynicism, decreased personal accomplishment

Jonna Korhonen & Miira Niska

“I go along with things I’m interested in”: Agency construction in university students’ career planning argumentation

The labor market is in change and the number of people with an academic degree is continuously increasing. As a result, graduates’ transitions from university to employment have become more difficult and protracted, especially for graduates with non-professional degrees. In order to promote graduates’ employment, universities highlight the importance of career planning and career management skills. In this article, we adopt the perspective of relational-constructionist social psychology to analyze the way students of social research talk about career planning. We ask how students relate to career management skills and individual responsibility over employment. In addition, we ask how students construct their agency while describing the choices they have made during their studies. The results suggest that students are willing to accept responsibility over their employment. In the argumentation, agency is constructed using the interpretative repertoires of utilitarian individualism and expressive individualism. The version constructed with the repertoire of utilitarian individualism highlights advantageous choices and competitive edge. The version constructed with the repertoire of expressive individualism highlights self-fulfillment and personal interest. However, in the latter case, the relationship between the choices and future employment remains vague.

Keywords: employability, agency, career planning, social psychology, qualitative attitude approach