Using data from a multisite video study, we investigate the relationship between psychotherapy outcome and the timing of nonverbal interactions between patients with social phobia and their therapists. The study site at Trier University will examine cognitive-behavioural psychotherapies in a naturalistic setting (under the direction of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lutz), whereas the study site in Jena will focus on manualized cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic psychotherapies.
We hypothesise that “good” nonverbal timing, i.e. if patient and therapist commonly show nonverbal synchronisation, is connected with a higher symptom reduction , early response and less early therapy terminations. Furthermore, we investigate if the relations between these variables are similar between different conditions (naturalistic setting, manualized cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic setting). We will use digital image processing to capture the patient’s and therapist’s movements. This allows for a nearly automatic assessment of the ‘nonverbal timing’. Within this project we want to gain new insights in nonverbal patient-therapist-interaction, systematic aspects of the therapy process as well as the relationship between nonverbal interaction and treatment outcome.