Here’s your paradoxical tip of the day!
Last week, we discussed the idea that therapists’ empathy skills tend to be poor, but therapists are not usually aware of this. If your patients complete the “Evaluation of Therapy Session” in the waiting room after each session, you’ll see, exactly what’s happening, and you can address alliance failures right away. . . if you dare!
Failures of the alliance (the patient’s poor ratings of therapist empathy and helpfulness)
are actually extremely positive—
if you know how to respond skillfully!
In fact, you’ll often discover that your greatest therapeutic failures
are your greatest successes in disguise! But how can that be?
Use the Reply / Comment feature below to let us to know how you understand today’s tip.
* Copyright © 2018 by David D. Burns, MD.
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It is very important that we listen with our ear by using the 5 secrets of communication. Many therapists believe they have good empathy skills when really we don’t.
Thanks, Sylvia! Your comments are very valid, in my experience! david
The therapists’ expectations are usually not met and it can be a blow to the ego if they get poor empathy or warmth results. We all learn from failure even though it can sting our pride/confidence a bit. The good side is that you have the ability to learn from your therapeutic mistake and address it openly with the patient. As a result you both will feel more connected and close and develop a better healing relationship.
Well put, thanks, Philomablog! Davidmablog!