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SPR Interest Section on Therapist Training and Development (SPRISTAD)
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The SPR Interest Section on Therapist Training and Development has been formed: (a) to promote scientific research on the processes and outcomes of psychotherapist training and development; (b) to facilitate collaboration among members in planning, discussion, and conduct of methodologically sound, theoretically balanced, and clinically relevant studies on the selection, training, supervision, continuing education, and professional development of psychotherapists; and (c) to support the dissemination of research-based knowledge of therapist training and development for the benefit of scientific, clinical, and mental health policy communities.

Founding year of the interest group


Activities of the interest group

“SPRISTAD Study of Psychotherapy Trainees”
Under the umbrella of the SPRISTAD executive and research committee, the members of SPRISTAD have decided to implement a large-scale collaborative (longitudinal) study of trainee development. The basis for this study is a research instrument consisting of five different measures focusing on the background of training programs and trainees, and the trainee´s practice. In addition, the study provides the opportunity for longitudinal studies of the trainees´ progress from their own and their supervisor´s perspective.

The research instruments should provide rich and varied international data about training programs, trainees, therapy, supervision and professional development, with many possibilities for quantitative and qualitative analyses. The Research Committee continuously will develop a plan for these analyses and for their allocation to responsible individuals and subcommittees.

The interest group currently has more than 200 member from all chapters.

Steering Group

The currently elected SPRISTAD officers and Steering Committee are:


Michael Helge Rønnestad (Chair, June 2016-June 2018)

Bernhard Strauss (Past Chair, June 2014-June 2016)
David Orlinsky (Past Chair, June 2014-June 2016)
Clara Hill (Senior Career Counselor, June 2013-June 2016)
Armin Hartmann (Mid-Career Counselor, June 2015-June 2018)
Svenja Taubner (Early Career Counselor, June 2014-June 2017)

Erkki Heinonen (Early Career Counselor, June 2017-June 2020)

The SPRISTAD Steering Committee together with Jan Carlsson (former Junior Career Counselor), Ulrike Willutzki and Armin Hartmann currently form a Scientific Committee coordinating the SPRISTAD Study of Psychotherapy Trainees.

How to become a member

As a special section within the Society for Psychotherapy Research, SPRISTAD invites the participation of all interested SPR members. Applications for membership can be made to the current SPRISTAD Chair via email at


Michael Helge Rønnestad, Dept. of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway

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