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

Okanagan FC suffer draw despite massive offensive output

Okanagan FC out-shot the opponent 29-6 in a 0-0 draw

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain expected

Showers are expected to end by tomorrow

Three vehicle ‘sandwich’ crash delays traffic in Rutland

An accident at the McCurdy and Mayfair Road intersection was reported just before 4:30 p.m.

A BBQ thank you at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

The ninth annual Well Done BBQ brought Kelowna together

Two West Kelowna residents were arrested for alleged drug trafficking

RCMP executed a search warrant at a Chieftain Road home

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Rossland boy finds human kindness sweet as honey after beehive destroyed

Family overwhelmed by kind offerings of strangers all across B.C.

B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

B.C. government filed a second lawsuit against Alberta on June 14

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Canada’s commitment is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030

Slackwater Brewing officially opens in the South Okanagan

Two level brewery features street side and rooftop patios

Victoria double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst found no shoe prints on scene

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Shuswap author tells First Nations family’s story of resilience, leadership

Chase resident will hold book signing in Salmon Arm June 22, in Kelowna June 23 and Vernon June 29.

Most Read