CORE CURRICULUM WORKSHOP

Led by Judith S. Beck, PhD and Amy Cunningham, PsyD, this advanced-level workshop is designed for mental health professionals who have mastered the basics of CBT and want to enhance their ability to deliver CBT efficiently and effectively to clients who present with more complicated problems. Patients with complex difficulties and/or personality disorders pose special difficulties in treatment. For example,  they may fail to fully engage in treatment, continually miss sessions, feel hopeless or stuck, become angry with their therapist, engage in self-harm, use substances, blame others, avoid homework, experience continual crises, call their therapist too often between sessions, demand special treatment—the list of challenges that arise in session and between sessions could go on and on.

Through didactic instruction, case discussions, videos by master clinicians, supervised role-playing, and other hands-on learning experiences, attendees will learn how to quickly conceptualize why clients engage in these “coping” strategies and then, specifically, what to do. They’ll learn how to effectively implement and vary the basic structural elements of CBT, and how to develop, maintain, and use the therapeutic alliance to achieve therapeutic goals. They’ll learn specific techniques to use in challenging cases, as well as how to use CBT techniques on themselves when clients’ behaviors trigger their own core beliefs. The third day of the workshop will focus on CBT for borderline personality disorder.

Workshop Curriculum

Day 1: Why do clients with personality disorders behave in such dysfunctional ways?

  • Conceptualizing client beliefs and strategies
  • Engaging complex clients in treatment and developing a strong therapeutic alliance
  • Setting goals when clients are resistant
  • Structuring sessions with clients who resist structure
  • Demonstration and dyadic role-plays of challenging problems

Day 2: How can I help clients modify their highly dysfunctional core beliefs?

  • Explaining core beliefs to clients
  • Motivating clients to modify beliefs
  • Intellectual and experiential techniques to modify beliefs
  • DVDs of therapy sessions conducted by Drs. Aaron Beck and Judith Beck
  • Role-play and Q&A with Aaron T. Beck, MD

Day 3: How can I work effectively with clients who have Borderline Personality Disorder?

  • Remaining nonjudgmental
  • Using validation to strengthen the therapeutic relationship
  • Reducing self-harm behaviors
  • Modifying strong negative emotions
  • Case discussions of challenging problems

Workshop Objectives

  1. Develop a strong therapeutic alliance with Axis II clients.
  2. Use a complex cognitive conceptualization to plan treatment.
  3. Discuss how to set goals with unmotivated clients.
  4. Give one example of how to modify session structure when clients are resistant.
  5. Identify therapy-interfering beliefs.
  6. Describe how to deal effectively with self-harm.
  7. Describe how to handle between-session crises.
  8. Name two ways to calm angry clients.
  9. Discuss how to modify homework to increase adherence.
  10. Explain how to modify core beliefs at the intellectual and emotional level.
  11. Discuss how to modify therapist’s dysfunctional beliefs that interfere with the therapeutic relationship.

Recommended Reading

Applicant Prerequisite

This course is appropriate for those with a intermediate to advanced level knowledge in the mental health or medical field.

Doctorate or master’s degree (or equivalent degree for practioners outside of the U.S.) in a mental health, medical, or related field. Core 1 and Core 2 Workshops recommended.