Conventional wisdom can guide us but also confuse us when seemingly good pieces of advice contradict each other (e.g., “Look before you leap…BUT he who hesitates is lost”). How can someone know when to do this rather than do that? How can we help clients make better decisions in order to improve the quality of their lives? The fields of cognitive neuroscience and phenomenology have offered us many insights into decision-making processes and some of these will be discussed as they apply to the context of active, short-term psychotherapies.
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This one-hour speech focuses on what all couple therapists should at least consider: social justice and fairness agreements between partners. The human primate is warlike, self-centered, mostly automatic, and given to flights of fancy, moodiness, and other unpredictable feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Thus, the social science predicate of civilization dictates that, to hold human beings accountable, there must be agreements between individuals that protect them from one another. Shared principles of governance points to the matter of partners governing each other and everyone else as the couple is the smallest unit of a society. Principles are hierarchically more personal and self-governing than rules or laws. In other words, principles speak to character.
Every meaningful therapy conversation includes a significant presence of difficult emotions--symptoms, responses, anger, fear, etc. We will have a conversation about how to skillfully welcome and utilize such negative experiences as integral parts of a successful, creative therapy.
Available evidence indicates that the effectiveness of psychotherapy has not improved despite 100 years of theorizing and research. What would help? Not learning a new model of therapy or the “latest” so-called “evidence-based” treatment approach. A simple, valid, and reliable alternative exists for maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment based on using ongoing feedback to empirically tailor services to the individual client needs and characteristics. Research from multiple randomized clinical trials documents that this simple, transtheoretical approach as much as doubles the effectiveness of treatment while simultaneously reducing costs, drop-out rates and deterioration. At this "Topical Interaction," participants will have a chance to address any practical issues, questions or challenges associated with incorporating outcome and alliance measures into their practice.
Working with various attachment organizations requires a deep understanding of both attachment theory and sensitivity to the fears and apprehensions of insecures on both distancing and clinging sides of the spectrum. We will discuss the benefits of using crossing techniques in couple therapy to minimize defensive reactions and to increase intervention effectiveness. Also, we hope to cover the matter of unresolved trauma and loss in the emergence of disorganization during therapy.
Our beliefs are a very powerful force upon our behavior. It is common knowledge that if someone really believes he can do something he will do it, and if he believes something is impossible no amount of effort will convince him that it can be accomplished. Times of change and crisis bring out the significance of our beliefs even more strongly. The beliefs and stories (mental models and assumptions) that we and others hold during an unstable or crucial time determine the degree of resourcefulness with which we will face the situation. Empowering beliefs help us to identify and take best advantage of potential opportunities, while limiting beliefs focus us on danger and can trap us into old survival strategies (i.e., attack, retreat, freeze, etc.). This interaction will explore how to identify and work with the belief issues that arise during brief therapy.
A client's willingness to embrace doubt and discomfort while feeling afraid requires them to elevate above their immediate fear and apply a new response based on a new and provocative therapeutic frame of reference. This workshop will present how to persuade clients to engage in such a therapeutic protocol to respond to an anxious moment in a manner that promotes healing. Participants will learn how to present four concepts to justify this approach. You can learn to approach instead of withdraw during a threatening moment by activating a competing emotion that expresses a competing point of view.
Effective clinicians draw on various sources of external knowledge to inform practice. One source can be found in the models of today which are popularized in numerous books and training opportunities. A second source is comprised of discoveries in fields such as medicine, education, philosophy, art, spirituality, and the sciences. Although these two sources provide a wealth of knowledge, effective practitioners also rely on a third source that not only serves as a foundation for practice but also informs treatment strategies. The third source is rooted in traditional psychotherapy theories and the contributions of early pioneers.