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Keeping up with research: does it make any difference to our practice?

I'm running a one day workshop in Belfast this weekend entitled "Keeping up with research: does it make any difference to our practice?".  Here's a downloadable copy of the 50 or so slide initial Powerpoint presentation.  I'll also be giving the trainee cognitive therapists a series of exercises to try. Here are a set of these workshop slides.  They overlap considerably with the rather iconoclastic first presentation, but also provide a jumping off point for four major areas we focussed on ... 1.) how expertise is developed (Anders Ericsson's work).  2.) the importance of rapid feedback on how well things are going (balancing evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence).  3.) responding to therapeutic ruptures (using Tim Anderson's acted client scenarios), and 4.) focus on client strengths & resources.  I also mentioned 5.) implementation intentions & WOOP.

For more on Professor Anders Ericcson & the development of expertise, visit his university website.  Anders Ericsson is probably the world expert on what is involved in achieving excellence and his books are all time classics in this field.  For a short introduction to some of his key ideas, see his comments here on "Expert performance and deliberate practice".   For more on the importance of rapid feedback on performance, see the confrontingly named post "Psychotherapists & counsellors who don't monitor their outcomes are at risk of being both incompetent & potentially dangerous".  And for more on therapeutic ruptures, see "Therapeutic alliance ruptures": common, very challenging & a key area for increasing therapist (and personal) helpfulness".  Finally, recent blog posts on this website explore the areas of focus on client strengths & resources, and implementation intentions & WOOP - see "Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling" and "WOOPing along: an excellent way of helping us achieve our goals"

A challenging day, but as Voltaire put it "Doubt is an uncomfortable position but certainty is a ridiculous one". CBT is a fine therapeutic approach, but we haven't advanced adequately in the outcomes we're achieving as Johnsen & Friborg's recent paper demonstrates so powerfully - "The effects of cognitive behavioral therapy as an anti-depressive treatment is falling: a meta-analysis".  Tinkering with changes to CBT techniques has yielded inadequate gains across the field.  Iconoclastic thinking is needed!

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