In-congress workshop “The Therapeutic Relationship as a Change Agent in Cognitive Behavior Therapy”

14 Mag 2021
09:00 - 12:00

In-congress workshop “The Therapeutic Relationship as a Change Agent in Cognitive Behavior Therapy”

When Aaron T. Beck and colleagues published the landmark clinician guide “Cognitive Therapy of Depression” in 1979, the therapeutic relationship received an important emphasis and many of the Freudian and Rogerian concepts were considered relevant. Cognitive therapy had the difficult task of advocating for specific techniques and a structured therapy session, which detracted from the therapeutic relationship as a necessary condition for change within Beck’s cognitive therapy.

40 years later, the family of Cognitive Behavior Therapies (CBTs) have demonstrated efficacy across a range of clinical disorders and therapeutic contexts. We also have a renewed interest in the mechanisms by which CBTs produce their effects, and in understanding how the therapeutic relationship directly promotes clinical change. Research on the working alliance has advanced, but particularly important for CBT has been the conceptual and empirical work on the CBT-specific relationship features.

In this interactive workshop, we describe collaborative empiricism and Socratic dialogue and delineate these from the alliance and other broadly relevant relational features. We then focus on the specific therapist behaviors that comprise these CBT-specific features and workshop participants will have the opportunity to discuss and practice how they can be flexibly adapted to clients based on the cognitive case conceptualization.

Learning objectives

  • Identify and define collaborative-empiricism and Socratic dialogue in CBT
  • Understand how collaborative empiricism and Socratic dialogue facilitate change

Using case scenarios, discuss and practice skills in tailoring CBT-specific features of the relationship based on the cognitive case conceptualization.