Recording therapy sessions: An evaluation of patient and therapist reported behaviours, attitudes and preferences

Laura Shepherd, Paul M Salkovskis, Martin Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Audio recording of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions has been recommended but not yet widely adopted. It is believed to have positive effects on later recall and reflection by the patient and on supervisory quality and accuracy for therapists.
Aims: To evaluate self-reported attitudes and behavior regarding audio recording of therapy sessions in both patients and therapists in a setting where such recording is routinely carried out.
Method: In a center specializing in CBT for anxiety disorders, 72 patients completed a questionnaire at the start of therapy and 31 patients completed a questionnaire at the end of therapy. Fifteen therapists also completed a similar questionnaire.
Results: Ninety percent of patients reported listening to recordings between therapy sessions to some extent. The majority reported discussing the recordings with their therapist. Patients typically planned to keep the recordings after therapy ended. Most patients and therapists endorsed positive attitudes towards the use of recordings. Similar advantages (e.g. improving memory for sessions) and disadvantages (e.g. practical issues and feeling self-conscious) of recordings were generated by patients and therapists. Therapists were more likely than patients to express concern about recordings being distressing for patients to listen to. Both patients and therapists regarded the use of recordings for therapist peer supervision purposes favorably.
Conclusion: The use of audio recording of sessions as an adjunct to therapy (where patients listen to recordings between sessions) and for therapist supervision is rated as both highly acceptable and useful by both therapists and patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • patient attitudes
  • audio recordings
  • therapist preferences
  • patient preferences
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • therapist attitudes
  • patient behavior
  • therapy sessions
  • therapist behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Recording therapy sessions: An evaluation of patient and therapist reported behaviours, attitudes and preferences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this