Master Clinician Session, Chicago 2015

Handling Treatment Failure Successfully

Jacqueline B. Persons

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Science Center, Oakland, CA and University of California at Berkeley

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Treatment failure is common. Dr. Persons presents a model that helps the clinician handle this common problem in an ethical and effective manner. The model calls for the therapist to let the patient know that the therapist will not continue treatment unless it is effective, monitor progress in every session, work systematically to overcome lack of progress when it occurs, and bring treatment to a close when treatment failure cannot be overcome. Dr. Persons provides tools to help the clinician implement the model, including progress monitoring scales. She presents video demonstrations, case examples, and practice exercises. She asks participants to bring an example of a patient who is not making progress in therapy to work on (the participant will not be asked to share any information about the case). Dr. Persons will ask participants for permission to contact them after the workshop to evaluate the effects of the training on the clinician’s practice.

You will learn:

– Tools for monitoring progress at every session
– A systematic strategy for developing and testing hypotheses about the causes of treatment failure
– Tips for initiating a discussion with the patient about treatment failure

Recommended readings:

Kazdin, A. E. (1993). Evaluation in clinical practice: Clinically sensitive and systematic methods of treatment delivery. Behavior Therapy, 24, 11-45.

Persons, J. B. (2008). The case formulation approach to cognitive-behavior therapy. New York: Guilford.

Persons, J. B., & Mikami, A. Y. (2002). Strategies for handling treatment failure successfully. Psychotherapy: Theory/Research/Practice/Training, 39, 139-151.