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Five Things Seasoned Therapists Wish They'd Known

. . . And the One Question You Should Always Ask Your Clients

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - Whether they’ve been practicing for three months or three decades, therapists are continuously honing their craft. But much of what we learn through trial and error, and hours upon hours sitting across from clients, we were never taught in grad school. So we asked some seasoned therapists to pass on the lessons they wish someone had told them when they were first starting out.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Revisited

CBT Isn't as Manualized as You Think, Says Judith Beck

Mary Sykes Wylie

By Mary Sykes Wylie - Today, cognitive behavioral therapy is among the most widely practiced and promulgated approach in the world. But for all its mantle of scientific rigor and official approval, many therapists find CBT's "lab therapy" hard to love, if not downright dislikable. In the following interview, renowned CBT clinician Judith Beck explains how the method works, and why it's gotten a bum rap.

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Are You Missing Your Client's Signals?

Lesser-Known Ways of Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

Steve Andreas

By Steve Andreas - Getting immediate, nonverbal feedback from clients is essential to knowing how they’re responding in a session, and in maintaining the therapeutic relationship, which research shows is essential for successful therapy. Here are some strategies to increase your sensitivity to nonverbal shifts.

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How to Get Clients to Do Their Homework

Step 1: Don't Call It "Homework"

Bill O'Hanlon

By Bill O'Hanlon - The best way to ensure clients' cooperation is to make the assignments relevant for them. Task assignments are designed to bring about changes in the presenting problem. We try to make sure they are relevant to clients by having a mutually agreed upon definition of the problem being addressed and then collaboratively designing tasks that relate to it. In fact, when the tasks derive from a collaborative relationship, they often don't feel like tasks at all.

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The Essential Tasks of Brief Therapy

Meeting Treatment Goals in Just Eight Sessions

Robert Taibbi

By Robert Taibbi - We all know the essential tasks of the first session in any kind of therapy: building rapport and a sense of collaboration, assessing and diagnosing, and formulating and offering a preliminary treatment plan. The tasks in brief therapy aren't different, but they're done in less time--meaning that therapists need to get to work immediately, and there's little leeway for mistakes.

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Supershrinks

What's the secret of their success?

Scott Miller, Mark Hubble, and Barry Duncan

Trying to identify specific interventions that could be reliably dispensed for specific problems has a strong commonsense appeal. No one would argue with the success of the idea of problem-specific interventions in the field of medicine. But the evidence is incontrovertible. Who provides the therapy is a much more important determinant of success than what treatment approach is provided.

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Becoming a Supershrink: Three Steps to Professional Excellence

Getting Client Feedback Isn’t Always Easy, But It's a Necessary Step

Scott Miller, Mark Hubble, and Barry Duncan

Most therapists, when asked, report checking in routinely for client feedback and knowing when to do so. But research has found this to be far from true.

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Improving Therapeutic Effectiveness: Moving Beyond Reliable Performance

How Can We Make Progress in Our Therapeutic Effectiveness?

Scott Miller, Mark Hubble, and Barry Duncan

K. Anders Ericsson’s work on deliberate practice and client feedback explains studies showing that most of us grow continually in confidence over the course of our careers despite little or no improvement in our actual rate of success.

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