At the Psychotherapy research Lab at the School of Psychology at the University of Haifa, we are interested in discovering what makes treatment successful. We are especially curious about questions like: What causes a particular treatment to be successful while others may be less effective and even lead to premature dropout? What do the therapist and the patient bring with them to the treatment, and is it that they do in the course of it that make a recipe for success? How much does this recipe differ from one therapist and patient dyad to another?
Our mission is to improve the available treatments for depression. To do so, we seek to identify the most effective treatment for each individual, and custom-tailor it to that individual’s needs, preferences, and characteristics. We wish to examine how can we build the most appropriate treatment for each patient that would reduce depression and increase health and mental wellbeing.
We believe in the integration of research and treatment. Our clinical experience supplies the research questions and hypotheses. In our research, we seek to advance the knowledge that can be used by therapists and can contribute to the treatment.
We examine a wide range of variables that characterize the patient, the therapist and the fit between them and how these characteristics affect the therapeutic process and its outcome. In addition, we examine the therapeutic alliance formed between the patient and the therapist and its role in different therapies, when it works to allow therapeutic processes to occur (such as competent use of therapeutic techniques) and when it constitutes a remedial experience that is therapeutic in itself. We also investigate the factors that influence the therapist’s ability to use therapeutic techniques meticulously and effectively, and the factors that influence the ability of effective use of techniques to predict the treatment process and its outcomes. For an in-depth understanding of all the components that lead to therapeutic success for each patient, we use a very wide range of metrics that include clinical interviews, self-reports, biological metrics and more.