Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D.
Is talking the best way to promote change and growth? We don’t tell toddlers how to walk or ask them how they feel about walking. We encourage and support trial and error experience. How often do you leave a workshop feeling inspired but unsure how to do anything different in your next session? We know from educational research that lasting learning and change are more likely to result from active experience and doing than from book knowledge alone. If we apply this idea to psychotherapy, we need to consider that talk therapy by itself is not always best therapy. The phrase, “action-packed CBT” describes a therapeutic approach that combines talk with active learning experiences embedded into each session. It is designed to make therapy more effective and to promote faster client change.
Similarly, this is an action-packed workshop. Christine A. Padesky, PhD demonstrates a variety of action methods that can enhance CBT and other forms of psychotherapy. Like her other “Show Me” workshops, she structures her teaching around clinical demonstrations rather than lectures. For each segment of the workshop, she demonstrates particular methods so participating therapists can see exactly how Padesky conducts “action-packed” CBT. The Structured exercises that follow help therapists learn through experience how to implement action-oriented approaches.
Thus, “More walk and less talk.” Even so, there is ample time for questions, answers, and discussion to promote a more complete understanding of how to apply these approaches with diverse clients in a variety of settings.Action methods demonstrated in this workshop include: interactive writing/drawing, imagery, role playing, and behavioural experiments both in and outside the office to test out beliefs or to try new behaviours. A brainstorming section in the afternoon of the second day helps therapists discover how a variety of creative methods can be derived from these basic actions. Padesky guides workshop participants to develop a model over the course of the two days to help decide when to employ action approaches, when listening and talk are the best interventions, and what types of action are best suited to particular therapy purposes and goals.
• Describe two benefits of action-packed therapy
• Recognize action opportunities within clinical interchanges
• Plan three actions appropriate to use with current clients
• Name two action methods that foster client engagement
• Demonstrate one action approach that is likely to enhance learning
• Identify two action methods that help promote change
• Devise in and out of office behavioral experiments
• Experience uses of writing for increasing client engagement
• Link imagery with in vivo change efforts
DAY 1 – MORNING
Why action-packed learning?
What does it look like?
DEMO: Action before learning
Group Practice: Shoulder to shoulder
Writing as action
Discussion: What have we learned?
DAY 1 – AFTERNOON
DEMO: Testing central beliefs
What makes a belief central?
Varieties of behavioral experiments
Group PracticeChange: Imagery and In Vivo Practice
DEMO: Use imagery to promote change
Group Practice: Imagery
In vivo change practice
Discussion: Link imagery and in vivo changes
DAY 2 MORNING
When to Use Action-Packed Therapy
DEMO: Collaborative case conceptualization
Discussion: Identify action opportunities
Role Plays: Varieties of Action Experience
Role plays of client experience
Role plays of something new
Mindful role play practices
DAY 2 AFTERNOON
Therapist Alignment with Action-Packed Therapy
Three goals: Engagement, discovery, change
Four methods: Writing, behavioral experiments, imagery & role play
Group exercises: Therapist values & strengthsAdditional Creative Actions
Brainstorming creative actions for: engagement, discovery & change
DEMO: Matching creative actions to client
Make a Personal Plan for Action in Your Therapy
Toward a Model of Action-Packed Therapy
What is action-packed therapy?
When do we best use action packed methods?
A summary of actions that:
lead to discovery
Who Should Attend?
This workshop is intended for mental health professionals and graduate students in mental health fields. Non-CBT therapists will learn ways to incorporate action-oriented CBT practices into therapy. Beginning and intermediate CBT therapists will discover ways to transform treatment protocols into live action therapy. More advanced CBT therapists are encouraged to identify one or two clients with whom progress is slow and keep these clients in mind throughout the workshop.