Bypassing the Superficial:
Helping Therapy Patients Be More Open And Honest To You And, More Importantly, To Themselves
Presenter: Daniel Marston, PhD, ABPP
These workshops offer 3 Continuing Education Credits
This webinar is recorded and will not grant live credits.
Getting patients to be open and honest during therapy is a challenge. Psychotherapy educators often emphasize phrases like "meeting the patient where they are at" as a way of allowing patients to set the rules for what problems and issues will be discussed. But if therapists allow patients too much control over what is addressed it gives patients reason to stop therapy with the excuse that it is not really addressing the problems. As an example of this think of a patient with an alcohol problem who says that their "real problem" is that they do not know how to get along with other people. Therapists who allow the patient too much control in this regards will likely end up with a patient who quits therapy when they keep running into problems with their alcohol use (which has not changed since it is not really addressed in therapy). And then therapists who are too insistent on patients discussing their "real problems" will often be met with patients quitting therapy because the therapist "is not really the right fit".
This presentation will focus on the issue of effective ways of getting psychotherapy patients to be open and honest in therapy. It will emphasize trying to find that balance between being supportive and empathic but also being tough and directive enough to get patients to face negative truths about themselves. Creating and mainting a supportive envrionment, emphasizing a nonjudgmental approach, using transference behaviors (i.e. therapeutic behaviors that are associated with what psychodynamic therapists term "transferrence"), using direct but supportive therapy approaches and providing effective feedback will all be topics addressed throughout this presentation. Psychological issues related to denial and resistance, issues that date back to the earliest days of psychotherapy and continue to be relevant now, will also be addressed.
Describing the problem (40 minutes)
Evidence that being honest is a problem in psychotherapy
Identifying what problems and issues patients tend to not be honest about most often
Walking the "fine line" between being too tough and not tough enough in therapy
Results of Patients no being honest in psychotherapy
Specific Examples of Therapy Outcomes When Patients Not Being Honest
Denial and Resistence in Psychotherapy (50 minutes)
History of these concepts
Most recent research on these concepts
Practical conclusions From Research on Denial and Resistance
Other Practical conclusions from research on psychotherapy patients not being honest
Review of Specific Approaches that help with openness and honest in psychotherapy (60 minutes)
Other effective approaches
Scenarios and Discussions (30 minutes)
Example of scenarios of using these approaches in psychotherapy
Group discussion of how these approaches might work in situations brought up attendees