According to renowned anxiety expert David Burns, the biggest barrier to treating anxiety successfully—sometimes even in a single session—is recognizing how clients covertly hold onto their symptoms, even when it restricts their lives and seems to cause them enormous distress.
In fact, many clients believe that their anxiety protects them more than it disrupts their lives. And since so much anxiety treatment involves some form of exposure to the very thing that causes them so much discomfort, clients have compelling reasons to resist. That’s why the drop-out rates for anxiety treatment are so high.
In this video, David explains how he addresses outcome and process resistance in a way that quickly leads to meaningful and lasting change with clients:
This approach—directly addressing the perceived perils of change in the very first session of therapy—allows David to forge an entirely different kind of collaborative alliance with his client from the get-go. Using this approach to treating anxiety, he began to see results beyond anything he'd previously achieved in his long and distinguished career. The key is not starting the process of treatment until the client is truly ready to begin.
David Burns, M.D., is adjunct clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Among his numerous awards is the A. E. Bennett Award for research on brain chemistry. He’s been named teacher of the year three times. His books include When Panic Attacks and Feeling Good.
This clip is from our new video course, Zeroing in on the Big Two: A New Toolkit for Treating Depression & Anxiety.It includes sessions withJudith Beck, David Burns, Michael Yapko, Zindel Segal, Margaret Wehrenberg, Bill O’Hanlon,Danie Beaulieu, Steve Andreas, James Gordon, Reid Wilson, and Judith Belmont. You'll get concrete guidance on how to integrate today's most effective perspectives and methods into your current clinical approach to improve your client outcomes - and keep your practice on the cutting edge. Plus, you'll earn up to 15 CE hours! Click here for details!
Want to Know More?
Anxiety and depression are the two most common problems clients bring to psychotherapy today, but they remain some of the most challenging issues to accurately and effectively assess and treat. With Networker articles and videos, you'll get practical advice to help you integrate today's most effective methods into your current clinical approach, and improve your client outcomes. Here are some other Psychotherapy Networker resources you might find useful: