Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Improving Clinician’s empathy skills with ACT Matthieu VILLATTE, PhD, Jean-Louis MONESTES, & Roger VILARDAGA ACBS WORLD Con VIII RENO.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Improving Clinician’s empathy skills with ACT Matthieu VILLATTE, PhD, Jean-Louis MONESTES, & Roger VILARDAGA ACBS WORLD Con VIII RENO."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Clinician’s empathy skills with ACT Matthieu VILLATTE, PhD, Jean-Louis MONESTES, & Roger VILARDAGA ACBS WORLD Con VIII RENO

2 Some clients puzzle us Clients that are difficult to help, that confront us with failure who seem to judge us who present opposite values comparing to ours who made actions that are shocking to us, that seem unforgivable to us who we think they don’t really need help; (we don't think they have serious issues) who try to involve us in a kind of relationship we don’t want (try to be our friends…) …

3 Exercise n°1 Play your most difficult client

4 A few words about language and ACT 1- ACT is based on Behavior Analysis –Focus on learning mecanisms (functional approach) –Focus on the role of context in learning and maintaining behaviors (contextual approach) 2- Built on the behavioral model of language proposed by RFT –Relational properties of language lead to: Cognitive fusion (verbal events evoke emotions + insensitivity to environment), Loss of contact with present moment (fear of future and rumination of past), Difficulty to durably suppress psychological events without deleterious consequences on values.

5 A few words about language and ACT 2- Built on the behavioral model of language proposed by RFT –Relational properties of language lead also to: Building new directions of life (in terms of values and not only of goals) Commiting in behaviors which consequences can be distant or absent, in presence of difficult psychological events.

6 In interactions with others, language has also problematic effects The Conceptualized Self (clinicians' and clients'…). –Verbal definition of the self. –Effects of fusion and insensitivity. I behave according to this definition I perceive others through my verbal conceptualization of them (ex. « He’s old, he can’t understand »; « She did long studies, she must look down at others »; « He has written books, he must be right »…)

7 In interactions with others, language has also problematic effects The Conceptulized Self (one’s and others’…). –An effect also present in therapy What therapist am I? (« I am a man/a woman »; « I am xx years old »; « I practice therapy x » Who is my client? (frequently perceived through their « symptoms »)

8 These effects constitute barriers to empathy and compassion (acceptance of others’ emotions) Partial perception of the client –He’s a schizophrenic, he can’t be autonomous –She’s a depressive person, she can't value anything –He’s been an alcoholic for 15 years, he can't change. Difficulty to identify and accept emotions of the client Interferes with pratice

9 Therapeutic relationship in ACT We don’t need to be empathic because it’s our job or just because it is how a therapist must be. We need to be empathic because a main part of therapy is to shake client’s behavioral repertoire. This change comes with difficulties for the client (creative hopelessness) Client’s life is not hopeless, experiential avoidance strategy is. Therapist’s empathy helps the client to perceive the difference.

10 When introducing creative hopelessness to clients, it’s essential that: –They feel they are not judged –On the opposite, that they perceive their suffering is received and accepted unconditionally –They know that it’s normal to feel what they currently feel, to think what they currently think, because of their past and because of language properties –They perceive that the therapist is on the same boat as they are: we have to be acceptant (empathic) to shape acceptance Therapeutic relationship in ACT

11 Definition of the therapeutic relationship BORDIN (1979) described the therapeutic alliance as a composite of three different aspects: –the relational bond between therapist and client –the tasks of psychotherapy –the goals of psychotherapy (or the outcomes that are sought)

12 Psychological flexibility Acceptance Defusion Self as context Commitment Values Contact with the present moment An empathic tour of the hexaflex for therapists

13 Why developping empathy and compassion ? Utility of empathy and compassion –For the client: Favors identification and acceptance of their own psychological events Favors change (my problems are caused by universal processes; like others, I can change) –For the therapist: Better identification of emotions felt by the client. Better identification of the function of behaviors (reduces the filter of language in the search of useful cues). Reduces the tendency to change the client's psychological events

14 How does ACT develop empathy competencies? Identifying psychological events of the client… Different possible ways: –Gathering cues + rules  Works, but still language (with its potential limits…) –Changing perspective  Uses language but more direct access to psychological events of the client

15 A word about RFT and perspective taking skills… Language= relating events arbitrarily (or not!) Different ways of relating events: –Frame of equivalence, opposition, hierarchy, etc. –and frames of perspective taking (=DEICTICS)

16 Deictic frames: –I / You (interpersonal perspective) –Here / There (spatial perspective) –Now /Then (temporal perspective)  This particular type of relational responding is learned through multiple exemplars of questions/answers involving different perspectives (What do you see from there? Yesterday, did you know I would come today?) (Hayes, 1984; McHugh et al., 2004)

17 Perspective-taking Deictic framing Psychological flexibility Contextual control over deictic and other relational functions Effective therapeutic relationship I/You Here/There Now/Then I/You Excitement Affection Joy I/You Sadness Fear Hate Contextual control Empathy Transformation of functions of deictic relations 3 step model of the therapeutic relationship

18 Competencies in relating the self to others, time, and space are correlated to identifying others’ mental states (Villatte et al., 2008, 2009, 2010)  The more I am skilled in taking the perspective of others, the more I am able to identify what they think and feel.

19 Objective : Developing our competencies in changing perspective Multiple exercises that employ various contexts and each time, a change of perspective. Exercise n°2 (Finish the sentences) Exercise n°3 ( Live other's emotions)

20 How does ACT develop compassion ? Changing perspective leads to contacting emotional states of the client –Triggers emotional states in the therapist –Can trigger avoidance of the therapist (with problematic effects of experiential avoidance…)

21 Exercise n°4 Negative judgment  Use on yourself the same techniques you employ with your clients (all the hexaflex!).

22 Knowing the past to develop empathy

23 Knowing the past to develop acceptance of the other According to behavior analysis, our next behaviors are the product of history of previous behaviors and consequences « Past is the future of our present » The more you know one’s past, the more you can accept it, since you understand why one behaves that way.

24 Exercise n°5 Client’s past

25 Knowing the past to develop acceptance of the other It’s a deterministic, but also a probabilistic model: history of previous behaviors and consequences causes our futur behaviors, but … - hazard can play an important role - huge number of variables in interaction - each consequence has different effects depending on history of behaviors and consequences

26 Some important variables (hence important to know to improve empathy), notably repetitive or emotionally loaded ones Some « hazardous » learnings: superstitious behaviors reinforced randomly (ex BPD) Important variables to know, but also hazardous learning

27 Understanding these mechanisms allow to improve acceptance of the client, even if it’s impossible to exactly know the whole story, neither to predict exactly how the client is going to behave Most importantly, implications of determinism are : –Absence of responsability of one’s behaviors –Anybody else with the exact same behavioral history would behave exactly the same (including the therapist) Knowing the past to develop empathy

28 Exercice n°6 Client's journey to session

29 Improving Clinician’s empathy skills with ACT Matthieu VILLATTE, PhD, Jean-Louis MONESTES, & Roger VILARDAGA ACBS WORLD Con VIII RENO


Download ppt "Improving Clinician’s empathy skills with ACT Matthieu VILLATTE, PhD, Jean-Louis MONESTES, & Roger VILARDAGA ACBS WORLD Con VIII RENO."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google