Can You Be Like Erickson?

October 15, 2016 by  
Filed under General

For my keynote address at the Erickson Congress in Puerto Vallarta, I shared a memorable experience when I was confronted with the urgent needs of a former patient of Milton Erickson. The man was experiencing a full-blown psychotic episode. He had the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and was absolutely insistent that he must “find Erickson” […]

CBT in the Real World

April 5, 2016 by  
Filed under General

In the past few months I’ve seen several comments about how CBT is “constrained” by treatment protocols. Apparently, some practitioners have the impression that CBT is “cookbook” approach where the therapist takes a manualized treatment protocol and imposes it on the client without tailoring it to the client’s needs. They seem to think that if […]

Let Me Sleep On It: CBT for Insomnia

February 29, 2016 by  
Filed under General

The February, 2016 edition of Consumer Reports recommends CBT as an alternative to medication for chronic insomnia (see http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/08/how-did-you-sleep-last-night/index.htm for some of what they say about insomnia). CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) combines “standard” CBT with cognitive and behavioral interventions specifically focused on insomnia. There is a substantial body of research supporting the effectiveness of CBT-I […]

Is the Effectiveness of CBT Fading?

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Cognitive Therapy, General

A recent meta-analysis published under the provocative title “The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Anti-Depressive Treatment is Falling: A Meta-Analysis” (Johnsen & Friborg, 2015) has provoked considerable discussion (and some gloating on the Internet by those who are opposed to CBT). The authors computed the effect-sizes found in 70 studies of Cognitive Behavioral […]

Tell Me a Story: The Power of Storytelling

June 21, 2014 by  
Filed under General, Soapbox

“Information brings knowledge, but stories bring wisdom.” These words guide my clinical work more than any others, for I have learned that it is the power of the patient’s story, rather than that of the patient’s dogged data, that defines and informs psychotherapy’s curative properties. Or, as Mark Twain once put it, “Never let the […]

The Adolescent Saboteur

May 15, 2014 by  
Filed under General, Soapbox

We frequently use the term “self-sabotage” to describe behavior that, at least on the surface, appears to work to the patient’s disadvantage. Wikipedia defines sabotage as “a deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity or corporation through subversion, obstruction, disruption, destruction or underhand tactics…one who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. Saboteurs typically try to […]

Interesting Study of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy vs CBT in the Treatment of Bulimia

December 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Cognitive Therapy, General

An interesting study has been published recently that compares psychoanalytic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of bulimia (abstract of the study). I thought it worth noting here.