I know, it’s February and perhaps a little late to wish everyone a happy New Year. But we are already running at a fast pace to make this another memorable year, and wanted to let you know what is ahead in 2017.
First, let’s talk about the amazing growth we experienced in 2016. As you know, the mission of the Beck Institute is to promote excellence in CBT around the world. We accomplish this with workshops for individuals in Philadelphia and around the US, training for organizations around the world, and courses online. 2016 saw tremendous growth in each of these areas.
Here are some highlights:
- We launched our online programs, delivering over 2,000 courses to individuals in over 70 countries.
- We increased our work with organizations by 30%!
- We delivered our workshops On the Road in cities across the US, and on weekends, which meant less time missing work for attendees.
With 2017 underway, we expect another banner year. Here are a few of the exciting things we have planned:
- The launch of a new online course in CBT for Personality Disorders later in the year
- The new Applied Series of workshops which address incorporating mindfulness in CBT, CBT for individuals with medical conditions, and CBT for anger management.
- We will host a 4-day workshop on CBT for Depression and Anxiety for Spanish speakers in June
- We will launch a new workshop on CBT for Military and Veteran Suicide Prevention in July
- We will be back in Chicago and Nashville with On the Road workshops
- We have designed a comprehensive approach to improving CBT in systems through our Training for Organizations program, and are already offering it to organizations that want to improve mental health outcomes in their agencies
We established the Beck Institute over 20 years ago. In that time, we estimate that we’ve trained over 10,000 health and mental health professionals to improve their CBT skills. If those individuals had even 10 people on their caseload (and we know you have more), that is over 100,000 clients that have had the benefit of better therapeutic interventions. That’s what we’re about… better trained therapists mean more healthy people.
Could you take a few moments to complete our short, 3-question survey? It will help us design an array of training opportunities to suit your needs and the needs of professionals worldwide.
Did you learn CBT through the tradition of “See one, do one, teach one?” Were your instructors and supervisors clinicians who had never learned the principles of adult learning? Did they instead teach or supervise you in the way they themselves had been taught or supervised?
Dissemination and training of quality CBT therapists has become a recent focus for CBT programs throughout the world. There is a renewed focus in the field of CBT and on the skills needed to effectively teach and supervise. In fact, CBT supervision skills have independently been recognized as a competency in recent years.
Perhaps surprisingly, little research exists on CBT training. What constitutes sufficient training? What does “competence” in CBT actually mean? How should therapist “drift” be monitored and assessed? Sudak et al (2015) summarizes the current research in training and supervision.
Training is defined as the effective transfer of knowledge about and practice of the key skills of CBT. It represents both knowing that and knowing how. Most skills are taught both in training and supervision. Therapists or students first learn the rationale for a skill; they watch experts, and model what they have learned in practice with roleplayed “clients” of varying degrees of difficulty (with corrective and confirming feedback). Once trainees have the necessary skills, they can then be supervised with actual clients in a setting of “real world complexity.”
CBT supervision is most effective and efficient when the supervisor uses processes that parallel CBT therapy. The supervisory alliance is critical to effective work in supervision. The relationship needs to be safe enough for the supervisee to tell the truth and to be able to hear and incorporate constructive feedback. Supervisors should do a needs assessment with supervisees and then collaboratively set goals which form the “road-map” for supervision. Good supervision uses a session structure similar to that employed with clients in psychotherapy (Liese and Beck, 1997). By so doing, the model is reinforced and the supervisee can have an experience akin to self-practice.
Several other important parallels exist between effective supervision and therapy. These include using Socratic questions to stimulate learning and reflection, action plans between sessions and eliciting and giving feedback. Tapes of client sessions must be used to assess progress, rated by both the supervisee and supervisor with a validated instrument to determine fidelity and integrity, such as the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale and client symptom rating scales provide data to determine if care is adequate and safe.
Supervision also requires conceptualization – both of the client and the supervisee. We are more effective supervisors if we develop a tailored educational plan based on the educational needs of the trainee and his or her capacities as therapist. The cultural competence and the cultural background of supervisees and clients should also be considered as a part of the conceptualization.
Supervisees should be encouraged to use thought records regarding their reactions to clients and expectations of themselves as therapists. This practice helps them to learn more effectively and inculcates the self-reflection that encourages expertise. Bennett-Levy (2003) has published extensively regarding this core process in CBT training. Active engagement and thoughtful implementation of several learning methods, as described by Milne and Dunkerley (2010), heightens curiosity and interest in supervisees.
Making our supervision and training more effective is also more engaging and fun for the teacher, so everyone benefits from this effort to improve our work.
Sudak, D.M., Codd, R.T., Ludgate, J., Reiser, R.J., Milne, D., Sokol, L., Fox, M. Teaching and Supervising Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. (2015) Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Bennett-Levy, J. Lee., N., Travers, K., Pohlman, S., & Hammernick, (2003). Cognitive therapy from the inside: Enhancing therapist’s skills through practicing what we preach. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 31, 145–163.
Liese, B.S., & Beck, J. S. (1997). Cognitive therapy supervision. In E. Watkins (Ed.), Handbook of psychotherapy supervision. New York, NY: Wiley
Milne, D.L., & Dunkerley, C. (2010). Towards evidence-based clinical supervision: The development and evaluation of four CBT guidelines. Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 3, 43–57.
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in CBT.
Soldiers Suicide Prevention (Beck Institute) is a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Approved Charity: CFC # 11590
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