Process Made Simpler: Strategies for Enhancing the Therapeutic Alliance

"Be empathetic," they say. "Be warm. Build up an effective working alliance."

But we seldom hear exactly HOW these mysterious tasks are to be accomplished. The so-called non-specific factors in therapy are acknowledged to account for the lion's share of variability in psychotherapy outcome, but they are seldom made explicit.

Whether one adopts a therapy model believed to work entirely through the alliance, or a technique-focussed model such as cognitive behaviour therapy, an effective working relationship between clinician and client is a prerequisite for change. This workshop presents specific, behavioural practices designed to maximize therapeutic progress.

What are the conditions for therapeutic change?

Calling them “nonspecific factors” is a misnomer. The name makes them sound ethereal, atmospheric, untrainable. But all the term means is that these factors are not specific to a particular type of therapy.

In fact, many of the factors associated with therapeutic excellence are very specific, down-to-earth, trainable behaviours.

Our cherished techniques, be they from CBT, ACT, STDP, or any other model, are irrelevant without the context of an effective working alliance.

By taking charge of the manner in which we interact with clients and the way we run a therapy session, we can boost our results and help our clients make more progress in less time.

Course Content

  • Conducting a change-focussed intake
  • Identifying goals
  • Putting the client in the driver’s seat
  • Assuming the role of consultant
  • Marking the transition to therapy
  • Making a useful invitation
  • Enhancing motivation
  • The session, moment by moment
  • Making homework completion likely
  • Reflecting: Emotion or content?
  • Marking out your big messages
  • When to metacomment
  • To self-disclose or not?
  • Shifting from pathology to strength
  • Monitoring our effectiveness
  • Getting feedback EVERY session
  • Useful alliance measures
  • Integrating feedback into the work
  • Process vs outcome resistance

Feedback on this program

“This should be offered as standard in graduate programs.”
"Love the presentation style - lively, down to earth."
"You never assumed anything was obvious to anybody - so it was quite useful and illuminating in many respects!"
"Broke down things to basic steps/strategies."
"Excellent presenter."
"Very interactive + thought-provoking."
"Thinking about things I haven’t seen in a while. Really useful refresher!"
"Randy is a fantastic speaker + presenter."
"Very interesting! Very engaging speaker!"

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Suite 718
2525 Willow Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 3N8
Tel: (604) 871-0490


Open Weekdays
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