Assistant Professor Heather Gainforth researches behaviour change with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. - UBCO

UBCO uses play-by-play analysis for counselling sessions

A researcher in Kelowna studied play-by-plays of counselling sessions to learn how they work

Using a page from a coach’s playbook, a UBC Okanagan researcher has come up with a method to analyze behaviour change counselling sessions and determine what makes them work.

UBCO assistant professor Heather Gainforth researches behaviour change with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. She has recently published research explaining her approach to understanding the play-by-play of counselling sessions to help people make positive changes in their lives, according to UBCO news release.

It’s common for sports psychologists to use audio and video recordings of practices to analyze and closely examine the relationship between a coach and a player, she said. They study every word, every move and every reaction to determine how the coach supports the athlete to have a positive or negative experience during training.

“I realized when I was working with sports psychologists that they are studying every single interaction of the coaches and the athletes,” said Gainforth.

RELATED: Monday Night Football Highlights, Analysis, Recap for Week 3

It’s an idea she wanted to try in her own field of expertise.

“When a person goes for behaviour change counselling it either works or it doesn’t,” she said. “But we couldn’t actually determine exactly why. What makes it work? Why did it fail? And I kept thinking, how can we figure out what makes these interventions work?”

While working with clients hoping to quit smoking, Gainforth tried the video play-by-play analysis. With permission, she used audio and video recordings to scrutinize minuscule details of sessions between a client and counsellor, the news release said.

By examining behaviour change counselling second-by-second, she looked at the frequency, sequence and duration of each interaction between a client and a counsellor. Behaviour change happens, she explains, during a conversion between a client and a practitioner, the release said.

“I wanted to know what happens in that conversation,” she said. “I wanted a second-by-second analysis of these interactions to understand what works to help clients change their behaviour.”

Gainforth developed a method to analyze these videotaped sessions verbatim.

RELATED: It was only a matter of time, data analytics makes its way into curling

She then used state-space grids to map each interaction in real time and monitor how the practitioner and the client interact together. Gainforth said the grids allow researchers to examine the dynamics between the client and the practitioner. It’s the first time in behavioural science, she added, that researchers have been able to understand how these interactions actually make a difference, the release said.

“We have created a new method for people working in behavioural science,” she said. “By coding the interactions second-by-second, we’ve created a method to visualize the counselling sessions over time. We can map everything the practitioner says and how the client reacts and then we examine how they interact with each other over time.”

Gainforth’s research, partially funded through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, was published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

What’s happening Family Day at SilverStar

SilverStar is offering a 50 per cent discount for all-inclusive day tickets on Family Day.

Death Café returns to Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Summerland events toast touchy subject

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Fentanyl, cocaine, body armour seized in Vernon suspected ‘dial a dope’ arrests

Five people suspected of being involved in a dial a dope operation arrested

More snow on the way for Okanagan-Shuswap

Up to 5 cm of the white stuff could fall across the Okanagan - Shuswap on Friday

Vernon art gallery turns out the lights and throws a party

DJ, drinks and food at Art After Dark Feb. 23

Okanagan mental health facility takes holistic approach to recovery

Healthy Essentials Clinic is more than a medical arm in Lake Country

Tribute to well-loved Shuswap teacher enables outdoor learning

Family, co-workers raise funds for Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Semi loses control on Highway 97A in Shuswap

Slippery roads contribute to crash of transport truck carrying tires

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Most Read