This was yesterday’s paradoxical tip of the day–
Therapeutic failure is nearly always your greatest success in disguise!
In TEAM-CBT we test patient’s symptoms at the start and end of every therapy session to find out how much the patient has improved, or failed to improve. In addition, patients rate us on therapeutic empathy, helpfulness, and other dimensions at the end of every session. The scales are exceptionally sensitive to the smallest therapeutic failures, and most therapists get many failing grades from their patients when using these assessment tests.
Some therapists, perhaps most, find failure threatening, since failure in our work feels like a blow to our self-esteem. However, if you relax and process the patient’s negative feelings about you in a kindly and non-defensive way, using the Five Secrets of Effective Communication skillfully, you will nearly always get a perfect score on the Empathy Scale at the end of the session. This means your relationship with the patient has improved dramatically. That’s good for sure!
But in addition, the way you failed the patient may be similar to problems the patient is having with everybody, so when you repair the relationship with the patient, your “failure” may be his or her first real success, and first taste of intimacy!
There is a lot more to be said about the incredible value of therapeutic “failure,” but I’m short on time because I’m teaching in Canada today. Be home soon.
* Copyright © 2018 by David D. Burns, MD.
Need some training? I have a really great new workshop coming up on
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Michael’s at Shoreline
2960 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley of CAMFT
(California Association of marriage and Family Therapists)
Unlike my usual workshops, which include quite a bit of didactic material and live demonstrations, plus some small group practice, you’ll get a great deal of practice so you can master new skills that can transform you clinical work and your personal life as well. You’ll learn to use the Five Secrets of Effective Communication to transform failed, frustrating relationships into satisfying, trusting ones, and you’ll get plenty of helpful feedback while you learn. You’ll learn how to develop more meaningful and rewarding relationships with your clients as well as the people you care about the most.
I’ll be joined by the brilliant and totally wonderful Kyle Jones, a 3rd year PhD student at Palo Alto University with outstanding clinical skills. Although I’ll be doing the main teaching, Kyle will back me up and help provide helpful feedback to all of you during the small group exercises.
In the morning, we’ll focus on dealing with challenging, difficult clients, and in the afternoon we will take on a far greater challenge: how to deal with challenging, difficult loved ones!
All of that plus:
- Free breakfast
- Free lunch
- 6 CE credits
- Lots of fun while learning!
* * *
Coming in August!
David’s TEAM-CBT Summer Intensive
August 6 – 9, 2018, South San Francisco Conference Center, California
For more information, click here, or call IAHB.org at 800-258-8411
Here are just a few of the really cool things about this intensive:
- You will have the chance to practice techniques in small groups after I demonstrate each technique with a live demonstration in the front of the room.
- You will get immediate feedback and personal grooming from me and from many of my colleagues from my weekly TEAM-CBT training group at Stanford. They’ll be there to help you, and I’ll be there to help you, too!
- There will be a live demonstration on the evening of day 1. The amazing Dr. Jill Levitt will be my co-therapist. Last year’s live demonstration, and in fact all of them in recent years, have been jaw-dropping and incredibly inspirational!
- You’ll get a chance to practice TEAM-CBT in real time the evening of day 3. This will be an incredibly challenging but rewarding “solo flight.”
- You will be able to do your own personal work on the last day of the workshop using the Externalization of Voices and Acceptance Paradox. In previous workshops, at least 60% of the participants indicated they experienced jubilant enlightenment during this exercise. Their fears and insecurities suddenly vanished!
- You’ll learn how to do Relapse Prevention Training (RPT).
- You’ll learn how to improve your empathy skills.
- You’ll learn tons of powerful cognitive, behavioral, and motivational treatment techniques for depression and all of the anxiety disorders.
- You will have the abundant opportunities to schmooze with colleagues, network, and have fun.
- You will have two fabulous free luncheon banquets featuring talks by Sunny Choi, LCSW, who is using TEAM-CBT successfully with an underserved population in primary care with limited resources and language skills (“I must apologize for my success.”), and the wonderful Vandana Aspen, PhD, who will speak on “New Treatment Strategies for Eating Disorders.”)
- And much more.
If you can only attend one of my workshops this year, the South San Francisco August intensive is the one to attend!