Therapist Consultation & Training
Your trail guide on the path to exceptional clinical work.
My passion for learning fuels my growth as a therapist. Through ongoing training, consultation, advanced clinical supervision, deliberate practice, and my own therapy I continue to develop my skills and hone my craft. My enthusiasm for continuing education extends to the training, consultation, and coaching I provide to fellow therapists. I offer individual and group case consultation and clinical supervision (see below for the difference) to PACT therapists at any level of training, and training and consultation to both PACT and non-PACT therapists working with high-trauma couples. In addition, I provide deliberate practice coaching on an individual or group basis. I also offer training to therapists on providing trauma-informed treatment, incorporating video recording into clinical practice, effective use of recording for self-supervision, introduction to the PACT model, skill-building labs for PACT therapists, and working with transference and countertransference in therapy. I offer training and consultation to groups and organizations on creating trauma-informed spaces and offer multi-week Your Brain on Love study groups. My colleague, Kathryn Barksdale, and I developed (and continue to develop) Trauma Wise Couple Therapy, a transtheoretical framework for working with high-trauma couples.
I've experienced firsthand the struggle of learning a complicated model and trying to incorporate theory/practice/skills into something that slightly resembles the PACT model. For most therapists, proficiency and comfort in PACT require a change in thinking, a substantial shift before responding from the PACT perspective becomes second nature. It takes time and intention to consolidate PACT skills and knowledge in order to have it on a deep level, in your bones. My strengths in teaching and supervision include guiding others as they find their own voice and way of being as a PACT therapist. In advanced clinical supervision, we identify your learning edge and how to approach the material in a way that works best for you. This may include how to incorporate what you already know and use from other models into a frame that has fidelity to the PACT model. Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) informs all of my work. As a result, my consultation and supervision explore therapist countertransference and client defenses.
I never wanted to be a couple therapist. Couples scared me, and I wanted nothing to do with them. In 2012 a close friend convinced me to attend one of Stan's weekend seminars. It took me two years to find the courage to start seeing couples. I haven't looked back since.
Case Consultation vs Advanced Clinical Supervision
Case Consultation involves clinical analysis of a particular case or cases from a specific perspective. Consultees identify particular questions or challenges with a case. Together we explore the cases, looking at them through a PACT therapy lens and identifying ways to approach the specific problems and challenges through the PACT paradigm and with PACT skills.
Advanced clinical supervision, as I use the term here, is not the kind of clinical supervision we all do before we become fully licensed when we work under a supervisor's license. Advanced clinical supervision is similar in many ways to case consultation but veers somewhat to take a deeper dive into supervisees' individual learning edge, gaps, and needs. It involves creating more specific learning goals and a path to achieve them. It may include some skill-building exercises, deliberate practice techniques, and greater exploration of issues of transference and countertransference. For folks like me who finished our clinical supervision sometime in the last century, or even a few years ago, it may feel strange to talk about getting supervision at this stage of your career. I participate in a weekly peer supervision group and receive individual supervision twice monthly. I still catch myself at times when I say to a client or colleague that I want to take a particular issue to supervision. I wonder if the other person will interpret that to mean I'm not fully licensed rather than seeing it as a long-term investment of time, money, and energy to become the best therapist I can be.
Deliberate Practice Coaching
Deliberate practice (DP) coaching differs from case consultation and clinical supervision. In DP coaching, we focus less on specific cases and more on specific learning goals. It includes an individualized plan for skill acquisition, repeated skill rehearsal, and successive refinement of ongoing efforts to better your performance, and a coach monitors your progress and provides expert feedback. In DP, we integrate learning into the overall process, identifying the learning need, breaking the process down into parts, and testing new strategies at each step along the way.