Dr. William raises some important clinical issues related to the research issues of this psychotherapy. Kathy is indeed being treated very specially, as were the 5 or more other patients selected for this research study by Dr. Enrico Jones, Principal Investigator of the Berkeley Psychotherapy Research Project. In the case of Kathy, the videotaping was definitely helpful with the clinical issues. And, of course, all the patients in the study had to give informed consent to the videotaping. In addition, each patient could choose to allow access to the tapes for educational purposes or not. Kathy gave consent to the use of the material from her treatment for all educational purposes, including education on the Internet.
But the effect of the videotaping on the clinical sessions was mixed. Yes, Kathy did make specific references to the taping. In the beginning, during the segment where she felt so uncomfortable in the spotlight, she made comments like: "The people studying these tapes will think I'm tooting my own horn." This was in reference to her accomplishments during the adolescent period. I responded by saying, "On the contrary, they will see what great difficulty you have tooting your own horn and they will wonder why." Gradually Kathy got more comfortable as she gradually mastered this issue. But the taping did have a very general influence on the treatment in that Kathy seemed to feel a sense of purpose in helping other people who suffered from major depression. Now, I know we have talked about how useless the D-word can be CLINICALLY. But it's important to remember that this study focused on the long-term treatment of major depression. All patients in the study underwent a complex, multifaceted diagnostic procedure in order to qualify for the study. They also signed releases for the treatments to be studied. So they all knew that the concept of depression was important to the study. Kathy frequently made comments about hoping her case would make a contribution to helping other people. She also asked Dr. Jones to send her copies of any studies done on her case. She read and approved of the two published papers I have listed above in Relevant Readings. If Kathy had wanted this work kept confidential, we would not be presenting it here. Of course, this material has been altered to protect her confidentiality, but if she had not wanted it used for educational purposes, we would not be able to present it. I'm not certain about whether or not a third person taped the sessions. I got the impression there was no third person. Dr. Jones used "state of the art" equipment to make these recordings. The cameras were embedded into bookcases behind each of us, though we could clearly see the cameras. We did get used to the taping, but we never completely forgot it. I was particularly uncomfortalbe with the videotaping at the last session of the treatment. Kathy came into the office with a small bottle of champagne and two glasses. Here we were in the Psychology Department of the UC Berkeley campus and we were drinking champagne on camera. Whether it was against the law or not, the scientist in me repeated to myself Dr. Jones' original words: "Conduct this treatment the way you would conduct it in your private practice." So we very much enjoyed our last session.
Thank you for your stimulating comments and questions.