The unified protocol: patient and therapist perspectives on the utility of the group manual

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Introduction: The Unified Protocol (UP) is a well-established transdiagnostic psychotherapeutic intervention. Recently, a Danish group manual was developed and tested in the Danish mental health services. We set out to evaluate the Danish UP group manual with the purpose of understanding which factors patients found helpful and hindering for their change process. Furthermore, we explored therapists’ perspectives on the utility and possible challenges of the UP group manual. Methods: The study was a pragmatic qualitative study. Twelve patients and eight therapists were interviewed. The interviews followed a semi-structured interview guide focused on their experiences of therapy. The data was analysed using thematic template analysis. Results: The results revealed one superordinate theme: Elements of significance, which embodied 5 distinct sub-themes 1) Exposure, 2) Homework, 3) Increased understanding of thoughts, emotions, behaviour and physical sensations and 4) Interrelatedness of therapeutic factors and 5) Increased understanding of symptoms, the past, and oneself. Overall, the evaluation found that the patients and therapists accepted the new treatment. The core interventions in the UP were meaningful to the participants. Some patients considered the treatment demanding due to the high level of emotional engagement and reflection. Therapists found the manual more suitable for the treatment of anxiety disorders. KEY POINTS: What is already known about this topic: The evidence for transdiagnostic psychotherapy for anxiety and depression is growing. One of the most well-established transdiagnostic psychotherapy manuals is the Unified Protocol. Recently, a Danish Unified Protocol Group Manual was developed and tested What this topic adds: Patient and therapist interviews were carried out, to explore their perspectives on the new treatment. Patients and therapists generally accepted the treatment model and found the manual content to be meaningful. Some patients found the therapy program to be demanding, whilst some therapists found the manual more suitable for the patients with anxiety compared to those with depression.

TidsskriftClinical Psychologist
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)129-140
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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© 2022 Australian Psychological Society.

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