Becoming a Smarter Therapist
Once we’re past the early stages of our training, the accumulating evidence suggests that, despite our own favorable impression of our increasing therapeutic savvy, most of us don’t improve our clinical skills. With so many smart, devoted, hard-working practitioners in the field, how could this be? In “Is Psychotherapy Getting Better?” a provocative article by Diane Cole in the March issue of the Networker, Bill Doherty observed:
“Most of us don’t practice in a context that offers a stimulating or effective learning environment for improving our skills. For most of us, therapy is a private art form, done behind closed doors in our solo practices or in group practices where there’s little coordination or shared discussion of the challenging cases we’re facing. I think too many therapists feel that there’s no real system around them.”
At the same time, the field has advanced to the point that we’re on the verge of making some breakthroughs that may radically alter the overall effectiveness of our profession—not through some magical, new therapeutic method, but through applying what’s being learned in the field of human performance and mastery about taking individual practitioners to higher levels of expertise, and the importance of providing immediate feedback to monitor progress and enhance the acquisition of new skills.
While technology often is seen as a depersonalizing force in our lives, the digital revolution is coming to the consulting room in ways that may have seemed like science fiction a few years ago. Soon it will be possible for clinicians to integrate databases into their practices that’ll tell them how a broad range of clients with all kinds of characteristics responded to different interventions at different stages of the therapy process. So when a therapist is stuck with a particular client or couple or family, she’ll be able to see how a sample of thousands of past clients with matching characteristics responded to various treatment options.
To find out more about these latest developments in the field, read, “Is Psychotherapy Getting Better?” in the March (30th-Anniversary) issue of the Networker. And to get a front-row seat on how you can integrate these new developments into your own practice, learn from the thought leaders focused on increasing therapeutic effectiveness and enroll in our upcoming webcast “Becoming a Smarter Therapist,” which begins April 19th.