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Tag: Clinical Excellence

Learning to Drive Left: Breaking Out of Our Therapeutic Comfort Zone

 

How We Can Solve Our Most Challenging Cases

The desire to keep growing and improve our skills is a good part of what brought many of us into this demanding profession.  But once we’ve acquired some experience and achieved a certain level of competence, we may begin to fall into a routine, just repeating ourselves over and over again. After all, getting to the next level—transcending our own current performance—often requires us to leave our normal comfort zone, not something many of us relish doing. Nevertheless, getting to that next level of mastery doesn’t just improve our performance—it can make us feel renewed as human beings.

Let me give you an example from my after-hours life as a pick-up basketball player.  I’ve been playing basketball for clBasketballose to 50 years now—thousands of hours dribbling, running up and down basketball courts, working on my jump shot, pushing and shoving complete strangers. For a 63 year-old considerably beyond the usual age for a viable basketball career, I’m not a bad player. But over the last few years, I noticed that I was just repeating my old tricks, doing the same things I know how to do, over and over again. I still loved basketball, but there was getting to be a certain sameness about my game. I felt stale.

Last year at this time, I got inspired watching the Dallas Mavericks, one of the oldest teams in the NBA with a roster of geriatric 30-somethings, win the league championship. I was drawn to try for my own basketball breakthrough and see if I could get out of my benign rut.  I found myself a coach—a 25-year-old named Andrew who loved basketball even more than I do and seemed to have studied everything there is to know about the game. Since then, he’s become my basketball guru and taskmaster. Every week, I have a session with Andrew, who keeps pushing me to expand my game, after which I take notes and practice what I’ve learned. Andrew’s very nice, but very tough. Instead of telling me how great I am at stuff I already know how to do well, he relentlessly points out the limits of my game, and then shows me how I can improve.

A few weeks ago, for example, after observing how predictable my offensive repertoire was, he announced, “You always drive right, never left. You gotta expand your game.”  As a right-handed person, I naturally tend to dribble with my right hand, make jump shots to my right, pass to my right, and so on. So he started pushing me to focus on dribbling with my left hand, driving to my left, and hitting left-hand lay-ups. It felt unnatural, awkward, hard to do, but I practiced the moves he showed me again and again and again. One day, after a couple of weeks of this, I found myself playing one-on-one with a familiar rival who had the annoying habit of beating me. I was determined that, regardless of how awkward it felt, I’d make myself drive left. Quite familiar with my right-wing basketball tendencies, my opponent kept overplaying me to move to my right. Instead, I kept hitting left-handed lay-up after lay-up and won easily. But not only did I feel the fleeting joy of victory, I had that incomparable sense of suddenly discovering a new self, not bounded by my old limitations. It was thrilling.

As therapists, we all face situations and cases that tap into our particular limitations, make us feel frustrated and incompetent. We all tend to get into our ruts, avoid certain kinds of clients, or feel off-balance and uncomfortable in the face of clinical challenges that press our particular buttons. And in a sense, the presenters in our upcoming webcast series The 6 Biggest Challenges Therapists Face are like Andrew. They recognize what keeps us limited in our effectiveness and how routinized our practices can become. But, like Andrew, they have highly practical suggestions—offered in the context of very vivid case examples—for helping us get beyond our limitations.

Without Andrew, I’d still be avoiding what I didn’t feel fully competent doing. But he’s opened up a whole new range of choices for me on the basketball court. I hope you discover some new choices for yourself in our new webcast series and up the level of skill and excitement of your “game” in your consulting room. 

06.08.2012   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Rich Simon
13
Comments
 

NP0018, Smarter Therapist, Bonus, Don Meichenbaum

 

Don Meichenbaum, the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Modification, will lead you in this Bonus Session, “What Expert Therapists Do” on learning how to master the core tasks of psychotherapy and how to enhance your practice and expertise using web-based training procedures. Discover how to use new computer technology as an adjunctive tool in the psychotherapeutic relationship to improve your outcome and better help your clients. 

We encourage you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the course as a whole. What was most striking or most relevant to you? What questions do you have? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!
 

06.04.2012   Posted In: NP0018 Becoming a Smarter Therapist   By Psychotherapy Networker
0
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NP0018, Smarter Therapist, Session 6, William Pinsof

 
How can therapists bring the science of measuring feedback and tracking change into clinical practice? Learn with William Pinsof how to work collaboratively with clients for assessment, treatment planning, progress tracking, and termination planning. Pinsof, the president of the Family Institute, will discuss how to track client change in specific symptom domains, and how to monitor the therapeutic alliance and, when ruptures occur, how to repair it.

We invite you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the entire course. What questions do you have? What was new, or most interesting, or most relevant to you? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!


05.24.2012   Posted In: NP0018 Becoming a Smarter Therapist   By Psychotherapy Networker
4
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NP0018, Smarter Therapist, Session 5, Robbie Babins-Wagner

 

Discover how to solicit, hear, and effectively use negative feedback from clients to enhance treatment and understand how to use outcome measures to develop mastery within specific domains. Robbie Babins-Wagner, who implemented Feedback Informed Treatment at the Calgary Counselling Center in Alberta, Canada, will illustrate how you can create a work environment that supports this kind of practice.

We invite you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the course as a whole. Does your practice currently support a kind of Feedback Informed Treatment? If not, would you be interested in implementing this kind of practice? What questions do you have? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!


05.17.2012   Posted In: NP0018 Becoming a Smarter Therapist   By Psychotherapy Networker
3
Comments
 

NP0018, Smarter Therapist, Session 4, Michael Lambert

 

In this fourth presentation in Becoming a Smarter Therapist, learn how to actually incorporate measures of change in session with Michael Lambert. Lambert, a researcher in the areas of psychotherapy outcome, process, and the measurement of change, will discuss how to include these measures in symptoms, interpersonal problems, social-role functioning, and quality of life in your work. He’ll explain how to determine a client’s progress between sessions, and when to use clinical support tools with the client if interventions have been ineffective.

We invite you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the course as a whole. What was new, or most interesting, or most relevant to you? What questions do you have? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!


05.10.2012   Posted In: NP0018 Becoming a Smarter Therapist   By Psychotherapy Networker
1
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NP0018, Smarter Therapist, Session 1, Scott Miller

 

We all strive to improve at what we do each day, but how do we ensure that we consistently succeed in helping clients? “Becoming a Smarter Therapist” includes six presentations, plus a bonus session, which are sure to change the way you think about how you work every day. You’ll learn about how working smarter does make a difference, understand the most recent research on the topic of excellence, and come away with practical ways that you can use to immediately and dramatically enhance your therapeutic effectiveness.

The first session with Scott Miller, the founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence, will cover why experience, theoretical orientation, and interpersonal skills actually are not highly correlated with outcome. He’ll discuss ways to drastically enhance your performance and how to reinforce your clinical growth by creating “cultures of excellence.”

Please take a few minutes after each session is over to engage in the Comment Board. Feel free to comment about what you’ve learned in the session, to ask any questions you may have of the presenter or your peers, or to share any relevant experiences. If you ever have any technical questions, please feel free to email support@psychotherapynetworker.org and our Support Team will help you.

04.19.2012   Posted In: NP0018 Becoming a Smarter Therapist   By Psychotherapy Networker
5
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The Practice of Excellence

 

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:

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04.16.2012   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Rich Simon
0
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Scott Miller’s Luncheon Address

 

Charting Your Path to Clinical Excellence

After hearing from Scott Miller, a pioneer in integrating the science of expertise with the realities of clinical practice, in our recent webcast series on excellence and an issue on the same topic last year, I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing from him in person. His research on what makes a top performer—and how to apply these lessons to gain mastery in the field of psychotherapy—is so intriguing. But seeing him in person today was really a treat.
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03.23.2012   Posted In: Symposium 2012   By Jordan Magaziner
1
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What Is the New Wisdom?

 
When you ask a therapist about the single quality that distinguishes the young clinician from a weathered old pro who’s seen and heard it all, the answer is likely to have something to do with wisdom. It’s a word with enormous resonance that seems to get at the heart of what psychotherapy is all about. But what do therapists actually know about wisdom? Clinical theories, techniques, how to fill out insurance forms—sure, we know a lot about those things. But wisdom?
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01.17.2012   Posted In: Symposium 2012   By Rich Simon
2
Comments
 

NP007, Excellence, Bonus Session, Don Meichenbaum

 

Don Meichenbaum, the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Modification, will lead you in this Bonus Session, “What Expert Therapists Do,” on learning how to master the core tasks of psychotherapy and how to enhance your practice and expertise using web-based training procedures. Discover how to use new computer technology as an adjunctive tool in the psychotherapeutic relationship to improve your outcome and better help your clients.

We encourage you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the course as a whole. What was most striking or most relevant to you? What questions do you have? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!

08.23.2011   Posted In: NP007 The Road to Clinical Excellence   By Psychotherapy Networker
2
Comments
 

NP007, Excellence, Session 5, Robbie Babins-Wagner

 

Hear from Robbie Babins-Wagner in session 5 of The Road to Clinical Excellence on how to use outcome measures to develop mastery within specific clinical areas. She’ll name helpful strategies for requesting, hearing, and effectively using, negative feedback from clients. Babins-Wagner, the CEO of the Calgary Counselling Center in Alberta, Canada, where she implemented Feedback Informed Treatment, will also discuss how to create a work environment that supports this kind of therapeutic relationship.

We invite you to take a few minutes after the session to comment about your experience. What was new or interesting about this session? What was most relevant to your work? What questions do you have now? As always, if you ever have any technical questions, please just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org.

08.04.2011   Posted In: NP007 The Road to Clinical Excellence   By Psychotherapy Networker
10
Comments
 

NP007, Excellence, Session 4, Michael Lambert

 

In this fourth presentation of The Road to Clinical Excellence, learn how to incorporate measures of change in session with Michael Lambert. Lambert, a researcher in the areas of psychotherapy outcome, process, and the measurement of change, will discuss how to include these measures in symptoms, interpersonal problems, social-role functioning, and quality of life in your work. He’ll explain how to determine a client’s progress between sessions, and when to use clinical support tools with the client if interventions have been ineffective.

We invite you to take a few minutes after this session to comment on what you’ve learned from this presentation, and from the course as a whole.What was new, or most interesting, or most relevant to you? What questions do you have? As always, if you ever have any technical issues, just email support@psychotherapynetworker.org for help!

07.28.2011   Posted In: NP007 The Road to Clinical Excellence   By Psychotherapy Networker
10
Comments
 

NP007, Excellence, Session 3, Barry Duncan

 

What is the most important key to improving as a therapist? How can we radically and consistently improve our effectiveness as clinicians? Get the answers to these questions and more in session 3 of The Road to Clinical Excellence with Barry Duncan.

He’ll go over ways in which we can improve as therapists, including what more than 1,000 studies have taught us about the science of the therapeutic alliance. You’ll learn what “healing involvement” is and how to achieve it with any client and how you’ll come away with a much better understanding of why outcome measurement is essential to improvement.

As always, we encourage you to take a few minutes after the session to comment—what was new, or most interesting to you about this session? What questions do you have or relevant experiences to share? And as always, if you ever have any technical questions, just email support@psychnetworker.org!

07.18.2011   Posted In: NP007 The Road to Clinical Excellence   By Psychotherapy Networker
33
Comments
 

NP007, Excellence, Session 1, Scott Miller

 

We all strive to improve at what we do each day, but how do we achieve excellence as therapists? How do we ensure that we consistently succeed in helping clients?

The Road to Clinical Excellence includes six presentations, plus a bonus session, which are sure to change the way you think about clinical mastery. You’ll learn about the most recent research on the topic of excellence, and come away with practical ways that you can use to immediately and dramatically enhance your therapeutic effectiveness.

The first session with Scott Miller, the founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence, will cover why experience, theoretical orientation, and interpersonal skills actually are not highly correlated with outcome. He’ll discuss ways to drastically enhance your performance and how to reinforce your clinical growth by creating “cultures of excellence.”

Please take a few minutes after each session is over to engage in the Comment Board. Feel free to comment about what you’ve learned in the session, to ask any questions you may have of the presenter or your peers, or to share any relevant experiences.

07.07.2011   Posted In: NP007 The Road to Clinical Excellence   By Psychotherapy Networker
39
Comments
 

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