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February 10, 2022

Webinar: Improve Your Therapy Practice with 10 Empirically Supported Tips

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Are you seeking to improve client engagement?

In this 60-minute recorded webinar, Jesse Owen, Ph.D., provides practical tips for therapists to reduce client dropouts and increase psychotherapy effectiveness. These helpful suggestions are applicable across therapists' theoretical orientation and based on decades of clinical and research experience in psychotherapy.

Jesse Owen, Ph.D., is a professor in the counseling psychology department at the University of Denver. He is a licensed psychologist with clinical specializations in couples, family, and multicultural therapy. He holds various positions, including lead psychologist at Lifelong, Inc; Research Director for CelestHealth; Senior Research Advisor for SonderMind; and Editor for Psychotherapy. His research has been supported by foundations, federal agencies, and private companies.

Below, discover Dr. Owen’s ten empirically supported tips to improve your therapy practice.

1. Set expectations early. By the first session, provide your clients with additional education about your role, their role, and the process of therapy. Including this information in a written document can be helpful for the client.

2. Be culturally inclusive. Examine how you gather information during the intake session and determine if it is inclusive of all people. It’s best to use open-ended questions to assess intersectional identities. (More on conducting a successful intake session here.)

3. Consider client readiness. When meeting a new client during a consultation or initial assessment, use a research-supported questionnaire to assess their overall readiness for change. 

4. Establish your therapeutic presence. Leave room for breaks of mindful focus between each session to center yourself – even if it is just a five-minute walk, stretch break, or breathing exercise. (And learn more about therapist burnout here.)

5. Monitor client outcomes routinely. When possible, use clinical questionnaires such as the PHQ-9 or GAD-7 to track client progress. Discuss and review results and trends with your client regularly. 

6. Track your outcomes. Engage in critical self-analysis by tracking your dropout rates and the types of clients who drop out of treatment with you. 

7. Engage in deliberate practice. Document notes from at least one session per week and use those in consultation with a trusted colleague to solicit feedback.

8. Be willing to make changes in your practice. The therapeutic alliance is essential to relationship building with your clients. Check in every few sessions to assess if your current approach is still effective with the client.

9. Manage countertransference. Practice the demanding task of honest, impartial, and persistent self-observation. Monitor your boundaries with clients and seek professional consultation or supervision for an objective opinion. 

10. Make a plan. Pick two or three tips from this list to implement with new clients. Once those are mastered, add in other suggestions until all are a regular part of your practice.

SonderMind providers can access the course in SonderMind University from their provider portal. You can also access a downloadable PDF of these tips here

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**Disclaimer: This document is intended for educational purposes only. Please check with your legal counsel or state licensing board for specific requirements.

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