Laith F. Gulli

Abstracts

2 A Measurement Instrument to Determine Curricula Competency of Licensure Track Graduate Psychotherapy Programs in the United States

Authors: Laith F. Gulli, Nicole M. Mallory

Abstract:

We developed a novel measurement instrument to assess Knowledge of Educational Programs in Professional Psychotherapy Programs (KEP-PPP or KEP-Triple P) within the United States. The instrument was designed by a Panel of Experts (PoE) that consisted of Licensed Psychotherapists and Medical Care Providers. Licensure track psychotherapy programs are listed in the databases of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE); American Psychological Association (APA); Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). A complete list of psychotherapy programs can be obtained from these professional databases, selecting search fields of (All Programs) in (All States). Each program has a Web link that electronically and directly connects to the institutional program, which can be researched using the KEP-Triple P. The 29-item KEP Triple P was designed to consist of six categorical fields; Institutional Type: Degree: Educational Delivery: Accreditation: Coursework Competency: and Special Program Considerations. The KEP-Triple P was designed to determine whether a specific course(s) is offered in licensure track psychotherapy programs. The KEP-Triple P is designed to be modified to assess any part or the entire curriculum of licensure graduate programs. We utilized the KEP-Triple P instrument to study whether a graduate course in Addictions was offered in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) programs. Marriage and Family Therapists are likely to commonly encounter patients with Addiction(s) due to the broad treatment scope providing psychotherapy services to individuals, couples and families of all age groups. Our study of 124 MFT programs which concluded at the end of 2016 found that we were able to assess 61 % of programs (N = 76) since 27 % (N = 34) of programs were inaccessible due to broken Web links. From the total of all MFT programs 11 % (N = 14) did not have a published curriculum on their Institutional Web site. From the sample study, we found that 66 % (N = 50) of curricula did not offer a course in Addiction Treatment and that 34 % (N =26) of curricula did require a mandatory course in Addiction Treatment. From our study sample, we determined that 15 % (N = 11) of MFT doctorate programs did not require an Addictions Treatment course and that 1 % (N = 1) did require such a course. We found that 99 % of our study sample offered a Campus based program and 1 % offered a hybrid program with both online and residential components. From the total sample studied, we determined that 84 % of programs would be able to obtain reaccreditation within a five-year period. We recommend that MFT programs initiate procedures to revise curricula to include a required course in Addiction Treatment prior to their next accreditation cycle, to improve the escalating addiction crisis in the United States. This disparity in MFT curricula raises serious ethical and legal consideration for national and Federal stakeholders as well as for patients seeking a competently trained psychotherapist.

Keywords: Psychotherapy, Addiction, Curriculum, Competency

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1 Development of a Psychometric Testing Instrument Using Algorithms and Combinatorics to Yield Coupled Parameters and Multiple Geometric Arrays in Large Information Grids

Authors: Laith F. Gulli, Nicole M. Mallory

Abstract:

The undertaking to develop a psychometric instrument is monumental. Understanding the relationship between variables and events is important in structural and exploratory design of psychometric instruments. Considering this, we describe a method used to group, pair and combine multiple Philosophical Assumption statements that assisted in development of a 13 item psychometric screening instrument. We abbreviated our Philosophical Assumptions (PA)s and added parameters, which were then condensed and mathematically modeled in a specific process. This model produced clusters of combinatorics which was utilized in design and development for 1) information retrieval and categorization 2) item development and 3) estimation of interactions among variables and likelihood of events. The psychometric screening instrument measured Knowledge, Assessment (education) and Beliefs (KAB) of New Addictions Research (NAR), which we called KABNAR. We obtained an overall internal consistency for the seven Likert belief items as measured by Cronbach’s α of .81 in the final study of 40 Clinicians, calculated by SPSS 14.0.1 for Windows. We constructed the instrument to begin with demographic items (degree/addictions certifications) for identification of target populations that practiced within Outpatient Substance Abuse Counseling (OSAC) settings. We then devised education items, beliefs items (seven items) and a modifiable “barrier from learning” item that consisted of six “choose any” choices. We also conceptualized a close relationship between identifying various degrees and certifications held by Outpatient Substance Abuse Therapists (OSAT) (the demographics domain) and all aspects of their education related to EB-NAR (past and present education and desired future training). We placed a descriptive (PA)1tx in both demographic and education domains to trace relationships of therapist education within these two domains. The two perceptions domains B1/b1 and B2/b2 represented different but interrelated perceptions from the therapist perspective. The belief items measured therapist perceptions concerning EB-NAR and therapist perceptions using EB-NAR during the beginning of outpatient addictions counseling. The (PA)s were written in simple words and descriptively accurate and concise. We then devised a list of parameters and appropriately matched them to each PA and devised descriptive parametric (PA)s in a domain categorized information grid. Descriptive parametric (PA)s were reduced to simple mathematical symbols. This made it easy to utilize parametric (PA)s into algorithms, combinatorics and clusters to develop larger information grids. By using matching combinatorics we took paired demographic and education domains with a subscript of 1 and matched them to the column with each B domain with subscript 1. Our algorithmic matching formed larger information grids with organized clusters in columns and rows. We repeated the process using different demographic, education and belief domains and devised multiple information grids with different parametric clusters and geometric arrays. We found benefit combining clusters by different geometric arrays, which enabled us to trace parametric variables and concepts. We were able to understand potential differences between dependent and independent variables and trace relationships of maximum likelihoods.

Keywords: grids, parametric, psychometric, domains, therapists

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