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Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships

This weekend I'm due to give a two day training workshop in Belfast on "Psychotherapy with couples & other close relationships".  Here are the downloadable slides for the first day on "Working with couples(sadly with the cartoons removed for copyright reasons) and here the slides for the second day on "Close relationships".  There are lots of relevant handouts - here are the details.

Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - what personal qualities distinguish more & less effective therapists? (6th post)

I have already written a blog post ... "Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - even more evidence that therapists themselves are central to improving outcome (5th post)" ... about the great last morning symposium "The singer and not the song? Evidencing therapist effects across the IAPT stepped care model".  I have described in some detail the first two symposium presentations ... Nick Firth's "Therapist effects and moderators of effectiveness and efficiency in psychological wellbeing practitioners: a multilevel modelling analysis" and Dave Saxon's "Variability in practice: therapist effects in an IAPT service delivering CBT and counselling".

Warwick BABCP conference: 3rd day - even more evidence that therapists themselves are central to improving outcome (5th post)

Yesterday was the third & last morning of this year's BABCP summer conference in Warwick.  I have already written about the second day in "Warwick BABCP conference: 2nd day - behavioural activation, Kyrios OCD, 'mind the gap', & DeRubeis on personalization (4th post)".  Overall, there were two particular presentations I was especially looking forward to coming to this conference and they have both delivered in spades.

Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - affirmation (2nd post)

I wrote a post a few days ago entitled "Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - background (1st post)" giving some of the research basis for suggesting this territory is very relevant for therapists who are pushing to help their clients more effectively.  In order to follow up these ideas further I bought the short 'how to do it' 70 or so page book by Fluckiger, Wusten, Zinbarg & Wampold.

Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - background (1st post)

A bit over two years ago I wrote a sequence of three blog posts starting with "New research suggests CBT depression treatment is more effective if we focus on strengths rather than weaknesses".  This was triggered by the fascinating paper by Cheavens & colleagues "The compensation and capitalization models: A test of two approaches to individualizing the treatment of depression" - with its abstract reporting "Despite long-standing calls for the individualization of treatments for depression, modest progress has been made in this effort.

Achieving Clinical Excellence meeting in Amsterdam: second day (2nd post)

Yesterday was my second full day here in Amsterdam at the "Achieving Clinical Excellence" conference put on by the International Center for Clinical Excellence.  The first full day had been a workshop with Scott Miller on "Feedback informed treatment: pushing your clinical effectiveness to the next level".  This second day was the start of the conference proper and was entitled "Excellence: what do we know and what can we learn?".   I walked in from my hotel thinking that I'd be hard pushed to come up with a day of lectures that would interest me more than this exploration of what makes for clinical excellence.

Meeting at relational depth: a model

I went to a workshop on Saturday about "Relational depth".  As is usually the case, chewing over the material afterwards, thinking about how it's relevant for myself & my work, following up some leads - these seem crucial activities to promote "digestion" rather than a quick learning meal that goes right through me providing no "nutritional value".  One of the ideas that I enjoyed was a slight refocus of the classic person-centred triad - authenticity, empathy, unconditional positive regard - so that the relationship between the people involved became more foreground and the individuals a little more background.  I put together a slightly adapted version of one of the facilitator, Mick Cooper's handouts.  It looks like this:

Meeting at relational depth: what gets in the way?

This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts triggered by going to a workshop "Meeting at relational depth" taken by Mick Cooper in Glasgow.  I've already written about two exercises we explored during the morning session - "Meeting at relational depth: what does it involve?" and "Meeting at relational depth: what intrigued me most".  In the afternoon session, we mostly focused on two further exercises:

Strategies of disconnection:  Participants will be invited to take some time, in pairs, to discuss the ways in which they may tend to disconnect from others.  There will then be time to explore the relevance of this to therapeutic practice.

Meeting at relational depth: links to attachment

Yesterday I wrote a post "Meeting at relational depth: what intrigued me most".  I described how, in this one day workshop, I paired up with someone I'd never met before and acted as client in a 20 minute role-played counselling session.  Every minute we independently estimated how deeply we felt connected (on a 0-10 scale).  When we looked at our estimates at the end of the session, they almost exactly matched.  I felt as connected to my "counsellor" as she did to me, even though she had said only a few words.  What's going on?

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