Exposing therapists to trauma-focused treatment in psychosis: effects on credibility, expected burden, and harm expectancies

D.P.G. van den Berg, B.M. van der Vleugel, P.A.J.M. de Bont, G. Thijssen, C. de Roos, R. de Kleine, T. Kraan, H. Ising, A. de Jongh, A. van Minnen, M. van der Gaag

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Despite robust empirical support for the efficacy of trauma-focused treatments, the dissemination proves difficult, especially in relation to patients with comorbid psychosis. Many therapists endorse negative beliefs about the credibility, burden, and harm of such treatment.
Objective: This feasibility study explores the impact of specialized training on therapists’ beliefs about trauma-focused treatment within a randomized controlled trial.
Method: Therapist-rated (n=16) credibility, expected burden, and harm expectancies of trauma-focused treatment were assessed at baseline, post-theoretical training, post-technical training, post-supervised practical training, and at 2-year follow-up. Credibility and burden beliefs of therapists concerning the treatment of every specific patient in the trial were also assessed.
Results: Over time, therapist-rated credibility of trauma-focused treatment showed a significant increase, whereas therapists’ expected burden and harm expectancies decreased significantly. In treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with psychotic disorders (n=79), pre-treatment symptom severity was not associated with therapist-rated credibility or expected burden of that specific treatment. Treatment outcome had no influence on patient-specific credibility or burden expectancies of therapists.
Conclusions: These findings support the notion that specialized training, including practical training with supervision, has long-term positive effects on therapists’ credibility, burden, and harm beliefs concerning trauma-focused treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31712
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

With online Polish, Spanish and Chinese abstracts


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