Evaluation of therapeutic relationship skills training for mental health professionals: the Therapeutic Relationship Enabling Programme (TREP)

Faith Ruo Fan Liao, David Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A 3-day workshop in Taiwan, developed in accordance with Carl Rogers’ person-centred theory, used an experiential-learning pedagogy and a helping learning technology mPath. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a short-term course for mental health professional students assessing to the acquisition of therapeutic relationship competencies.
Objective: To evaluate the training effects and investigate any changes in the level of therapeutic relationship competence of the participants before, at the end and two weeks after the intervention.
Methods: A sample of 59 mental health professional students from 7 medical schools studying in nursing, occupational therapy, medicine, clinical psychology and other specialities with the completion of psychiatry-relevant courses. 26 of 59 mental health professional students volunteered to form the experimental group, and the controls were recruited using the snowball sampling technique. All of them completed the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory OS-40 three times. Mean values and statistical significance tests were computed to compare the results.
Results: Within 3 days, the mental health professional students in the experimental group (N=26) completed the Therapeutic Relationship Enabling Programme (TREP) and showed a statistically significant level of change (Mean Difference= +9.5, p=0.002), which was in contrast to the outcome of the control group (N=33, Mean Difference= +0.18, p= 0.683), in the therapeutic relationship competences. The effecting growth curve of therapeutic relationship competence in the experimental group continually inclined two weeks after the intervention (Mean Difference= +19.423, p= 0.000) while the control group reflected a decline in therapeutic relationship competence (Mean Difference= -0.515, p= 0.812).
Conclusions: A person-centred-theory-based training workshop with the use of a specially designed technology enhanced Taiwanese mental health professional students’ learning on therapeutic relationship competences. A further investigation into learning person-centred therapeutic relationship qualities in the workshop as an innovative pedagogy and learning approach for medical education would be recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication skills
  • Competence Aqucisiton
  • Therapeutic Relationship
  • Medical Education
  • Education in Psychiatry
  • Curriculum Development/Evaluation
  • Person-Centred Experiential Approach
  • Quasi-Experiment
  • New technology


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