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Training in Unified Psychotherapy

The psychotherapy seminar at New Mexico State’s AHWC is designed to encourage interns and practicum counselors to practice integrative psychotherapy guided by a unified framework.  Here is an outline for the seminar:

Integrative Psychotherapy

  1. Five Routes to Integration as Stages of Development
  2. A Three-Tiered Model of Human Functioning

Immediate Psychological Experience

  1. Thoughts & the Cognitive System
  2. Emotions & the Experiential-Affective System
  3. Actions & the Behavioral System

External Influences

  1. Development across Life Experiences
  2. Interpersonal Patterns
  3. Families & Other Microsystems

Internal Influences

  1. Unconscious Processes, Conflicts, & Defenses
  2. Biology, Physical Health, & Maturation

A Unified Framework for Individual Psychotherapy (see Figure below)

Key Strategies Training

  1. Review of Basic Microskills
  2. Working Interactively with Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions
  3. Introduction to Clinical Hypotheses: Maladaptive Thoughts, Emotions, & Actions
  4. Exploration and Transformation: Eight General Processes

Exploring Thoughts

  • COG-1: Identifying Specific Thoughts
  • COG-2: Understanding the Context and Impact of Thoughts
  • COG-3: Analyzing the Functionality of Cognitions
  • COG-4: Discovering Core Beliefs

Modifying Thoughts

  • COG-5: Experimenting with Thoughts and Testing Their Validity
  • COG-6: Modifying Beliefs and Identifying More Functional Thoughts
  • COG-7: Reinforcing Functional Thinking
  • COG-8: Assessing Cognitive Change and Multidimensional Impact

Flowchart of Individual Psychotherapy

Exploring Emotions

  • EXP-1: Identifying Specific Emotions
  • EXP-2: Understanding the Context and Impact of Feelings
  • EXP-3: Analyzing the Adaptive Value of Emotions
  • EXP-4: Discovering Unexplored Emotional Experiences

Transforming Emotions

  • EXP-5: Experimenting with Feelings and Overcoming Emotional Blocks
  • EXP-6: Embracing Adaptive Emotions
  • EXP-7: Supporting Adaptive Emotional Expression
  • EXP-8: Assessing Emotional Change and Multidimensional Impact

Exploring Actions

  • BHV-1: Identifying Specific Actions
  • BHV-2: Exploring the Context and Impact of Actions
  • BHV-3: Analyzing the Effectiveness of Behaviors
  • BHV-4: Discovering Patterns of Reinforcement

Changing Actions

  • BHV-5: Experimenting with Actions and Observing Consequences
  • BHV-6: Improving Skills through Training and Practice
  • BHV-7: Practicing Effective Actions in New Environments
  • BHV-8: Assessing Behavioral Change and Multidimensional Impact

Multidimensional Survey / Firing Order / Focal Dimension

Advanced Interventions Focusing on Cognition, Experience, and Behavior

  • Balancing Change with Acceptance: Lessons from ACT and Harm Reduction
  • More Advanced Cognitive Interventions
    • Cognitive Defusion
    • Mindful Acceptance

More Advanced Experiential Interventions</h4

  • Emotional Regulation
  • Experiential Focusing
  • Empty Chair Experiment
  • Two Chair Dialogue
  • Psychodrama Action Methods

More Advanced Behavioral Interventions

  • Exposure as a Common Factor
  • Committed Actions based on Values
  • Focusing on Solutions

External Influences

  • Development across Life Experiences
  • Normal Life Transitions (school -> work ->unemployment ->new job ->retirement), (single ->partnered ->kids ->empty nest ->widowed
  • Developmental Disruptions (loss/grief, crisis, trauma, war, poverty, etc.)
  • Developmental Tasks (Erickson)

Interpersonal Patterns

  • Psychotherapy as an Interpersonal Laboratory (Teyber)
  • Transference: Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (Luborsky)
  • Countertransference & Interpersonal Impact Messages (Kiesler)

Families and Other Microsystems

Family Rules -> Thoughts
Family Roles -> Actions
Satir -> Feelings

Sociocultural Macrosystems

Cultural Values -> Thoughts, Emotions, Actions

Internal Influences

  • Unconscious Processes, Conflicts, & Defenses
  • Unconscious Thoughts and Emotions that Influence Actions
  • Unconscious Conflicts
  • Defense Mechanisms

Biology, Physical Health, & Maturation

Bio -> Thoughts Thoughts -> Bio
Bio -> Feelings Feelings -> Bio
Bio -> Actions Actions -> Bio