Topic 10: CBT Competence & Myths {by 12/6}

There are three VERY short readings due this week (J. Beck – 1 Chapter; Volungis – 2 Chapters).  For this discussion, share at least two main thoughts: (1) Once you graduate from Assumption College with your degree (and later get licensed) what can you do to maintain and improve your competence as a cognitive-behavioral therapist?  (2) Name at least one common CBT myth you have heard from other people/professionals.  What are your thoughts when you hear such comments?  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 12/6.  Have your two replies posted no later than 12/9 (one extra day!).  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon O'Brien
    Dec 01, 2018 @ 20:34:45

    For me, it will remain important to continue training after graduation. The texts required or this class have been, and will continue to be, extremely helpful resources for me. However, I look forward to reading new texts and articles regarding the CBT practice!. After watching my classmates role plays, I feel like I have learned so much by observing. I learned so many great ways to work with clients. Furthermore, I think I will continue to benefit from observing other professionals. I also think receiving therapy from a CBT therapist could be beneficial for me in several ways; I think I would be able to better understand the position of my clients, learn techniques from my therapist, and work on any ongoing issues I could be dealing with that have the potential to significantly affect my life and profession.
    I can’t necessarily say that I have heard anyone tell me a myth about CBT. I do however have a family member who is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist…so you can see the potential for differing views (thankfully, we actually have mature and insightful conversations.) Anyway, I guess the myths of CBT being too rigid or not focusing enough on the past are general topics I have discussed. After this class, I have learned that structure is important, but that having the ability to adapt and attune yourself to your patient’s needs is just as important. I think it is crucial for therapist to rely on evidence-based practices while also remaining flexible. In reference to CBT not being focused enough on past events, After completing my role play with Nicole on core beliefs, I think I really started to understand how CBT does consider past events. As we have learned, core beliefs have typically grown with us over the years and have been reinforced time and time again in our minds, The Volungis chapter also makes mention of core beliefs and how it is possible to address both the past and present while also “planning for the future (p.324).”


    • Deanna Tortora
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 18:39:56

      “After watching my classmates role plays, I feel like I have learned so much by observing. I learned so many great ways to work with clients. Furthermore, I think I will continue to benefit from observing other professionals.”
      Shannon, I can’t agree more. For me it was very helpful to watch others implement techniques. Observing my classmates helped me to further understand how to implement certain techniques, as well as gave me some ideas on how to approach certain techniques and treatments different from my own ideas. That is, watching others gave me some new ideas on how to differently implement techniques. I think this will especially hold true when I am a professional. Observing can be a very useful tool for helping to understand and further learn something, but can also give you some ideas on how you can use different tactics.


    • Jayson Hidalgo
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:26:55

      I would like to say that I fully agree with your comment about learning much from watching our classmates role play. I think we can all agree on that watching our classmate’s roleplay was very beneficial to all of us. Furthermore, since we gotten a chance to learn about how to do the worksheets and now we are watching the worksheets get completed right before us. It just makes understanding the process a lot easier to understand since we kind of already had an idea of how to do it.


    • Melissa Pope
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:40:57


      I whole heartedly agree with your opinion of going to see a therapist that practices CBT. It would be very insightful to know what its like to be in the other chair and to also work on any ongoing issues that may prohibt me from being the best version of me that I can be. Working on the self is a life long process but reaching out for help at times can be a very powerful and useful tool. It might also help improve my counseling skills of what to do or not to do to clients when I’m in the other seat.


  2. Alyce Almeida
    Dec 01, 2018 @ 23:45:17

    1) After becoming a licensed therapist there are multiple ways to maintain and improve being a competent mental health professional. I think the most important aspect to me is always practicing what your preach as discussed in Volungis’ text. I’m a firm believer in this idea and use this across multiple aspects of my life, and will definitely hold this as a top priority when practicing. You cannot be a competent professional without practicing! Especially with therapy being so complex with so many methods and techniques to possibly use in session, it is crucial to practice these methods. Another crucial aspect of being a therapist is receiving appropriate supervision around your skills and overall ability in being a strong professional. Having a good supervisor who provides feedback which includes both strengths of your ability and areas of improvement that is honest and constructive helps you realize areas you might not have realized you struggle with. Having a good rapport with your supervisor obviously makes the supervision process less awkward, but in my opinion more useful in the sense that your supervisor understands you as a person and a professional, not just your title. I think another important aspect of maintaining and improving your abilities as a therapist is observing other therapists conducting sessions. How are you to ever to learn if you can’t see someone else’s way of conducting the same methods you are in therapy? This is honestly the area i’m most excited to experience when internship starts because I can alter ideas that other professionals are using, but also figure out my own style by seeing what works for others. Lastly, always keeping up with professional trainings is absolutely crucial! This is how you keep up to date with CBT related methods, whether it be through journals, blogs or treatment manuals. Trainings are the best way to remain competent and what I think is a passionate professional as you are concerned with your abilities and actively seeking ways to improve and increase your skills as a therapist.
    2) The most common myth i’ve heard is that CBT has little focus on the client-therapist relationship, or as in the text states, is not “valued.” I find this absolutely heinous, as CBT or any therapy for that matter has to have some level of focus on the client-therapist relationship in order for therapy to even continue, let alone be successful. I guess my first thought is how the heck can you conduct any therapy without any rapport with your client as building trust is probably the most important aspect of therapy that needs to occur first in order for therapy to continue. My second thought is how do people actually believe this isn’t a focus in therapy if therapy relies on collaboration between both the therapist and client. I think this myth continues because people are misunderstood about how therapy is conducted, or has had a negative experience with therapy in the past and felt that their relationship with their therapist wasn’t a focus nor important in therapy. That is what the usual response is to me at least, as many of the people i’ve encountered has had such a negative experience with therapy that they ended therapy, and refuse to attempt it again, even if its with a new therapist. I think therapy is only useful if individuals seeking therapy are both open, and accepting to some matches with therapist not always working, and willing to attempt therapy again with a different professional and continue until they feel they found the right fit. Once thats found, therapy should be prosperous, as the therapeutic relationship will hopefully be strong and infused with plenty of trust and mutual understanding of therapy, goals, collaboration and effort from both parties involved.


    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 17:04:34

      Alyce, I agree 100% with your statement about practicing what you preach. This is super important because that is the only way to continue to be a great therapist. It is important for us to continue doing the techniques ourselves and to get a sense of how the overall experience feels like. This helps us in the future with our clients. I am also excited to start the internship to learn other peoples way of doing therapy and I liked how you put it of “finding your own style”. This is so true because everyone has their own personalities and style of doing things and the only way to find what we like to do as therapists are to try new things. Also, I had that same reaction when it came to reading that CBT myth. This myth did not make any sense to me either because like you said: “how can you conduct any therapy without any rapport with your client as building trust is probably the most important aspect of therapy that needs to occur first in order for therapy to continue”. Therapeutic rapport is crucial for any type of therapy and if that is not established, then to me that is not considered good therapy.


  3. Melissa Pope
    Dec 02, 2018 @ 06:54:13

    One I graduate Assumption College and get licensed, I believe it will be important for me to continue my education and overall competence of CBT and my speciality within Psychology, by continually attending conferences, keeping up to date with reading of pier reviewed articles, blogs or books. I think the reading part is especially important, because it does not take much effort to read and create a library of references to go to for self, other colleagues or when appropriate clients or their families a useful tools. This is something that I personally have been doing since college, so it has become habit and I don’t foresee it changing once I graduate and become licensed. It is important to encourage supervision and critiques for others during therapy sessions to improve skills; within this I think some of the best ciritiques is client feedback on how they believe therapy is progressing and how they feel about our relationship in general. Attending classes occasionally at university’s or other colleges on topics that intrigue me and could further my skills, is something else that I intend to do, and lastly, and maybe most important is the constantly work my myself, to become more self aware and insightful, which will hopefully translate to being a more empathetic and effective CBT therapist.

    One myth that I personally have heard from other people about CBT is that it is very rigid and has a “one size fits all” approach. This intrigues me because first off I know it is very untrue and secondly considering the sources these ignorant comments have come from, proves to me how individuals love to talk about matters that they are uneducated. Because of this my initial thought, because it is untrue is to take the time to educate them in the most delicate way possible. I usually tell them that CBT is a scientifically grounded approach to therapy that is evidence based. There are particular techniques within the framework that can be used amongst various illnesses but each modality is tailor made to the client and ther current presenting symptoms of distress, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The overall structure of therapy may look similar and the initial sessions may be similar but as therapy progresses, modifications are made to make the experience unique for each client.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 16:54:31

      Melissa, I really like the different ways that you stated how to maintain and improve your competence as a cognitive-behavioral therapist. This statement that you said struck out the most to me: “It is important to encourage supervision and critiques for others during therapy sessions to improve skills; within this, I think some of the best critiques is client feedback on how they believe therapy is progressing and how they feel about our relationship in general. ” Client feedback is very beneficial because it helps to improve skills and helps to make the best out of their therapy session. Without client feedback, the therapist will never know how to improve or how they are doing as a therapist. I didn’t think of that but I should have. So thank you for mentioning that.


    • Jayson Hidalgo
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:36:59

      I really liked your comment about the reading part of keeping yourself updated. Sure, there are other ways to keep updated and continue to form your CBT skills such as going to presentations about CBT or simply observing other professionals in practice. However, doing those activities will probably take some time and you will have to wait for an opportunity to be given to you to be able to go to a presentation or observe others. I am saying this because reading is very simple and you can do it at any time. I liked how you said that it does not take my effort to read and you can read pretty much read whenever.


  4. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Dec 02, 2018 @ 15:45:49

    Once I graduate from Assumption College with my degree, there are many things that I can do to maintain and improve my competence as a cognitive-behavioral therapist. One thing that I am going to do is to practice the skills that I learned, especially when I am in distress. I feel that this is when these skills become most effective. Some of these skills would be the daily activity schedule, or the weekly activity monitoring log. The more experience I have practicing these skills, the more it will help me become a better therapist to my clients. As I keep practicing these techniques, the more awareness and insight I will have. This would help me have more empathy for my clients because I would know personally how it would feel to do these techniques. I would also have to continue practicing the CBT model as much as it will be difficult at the beginning of training. As it says in the book, having a little anxiety is normal. It is important to confront the situation and to keep on practicing. I would also want to observe other therapists, so I can learn from them and see where I can keep improving as well. Finally, I would continue CBT training after graduation so I can become a better therapist and help my clients in the best way I can.

    One common CBT myth that I have heard from other people/professionals is that CBT does not consider the past important. However, this is not the case. CBT does focus largely on the present and the future change over time but also acknowledges the importance of the past and when necessary, will explore specific relevant events. It is important to know past experiences because it helps to shape who we are in the present. The past events can inform conceptualization, but the present is used to solve current problems, modify relevant cognitions, and apply new behaviors while also planning for the future. The past is important because core beliefs are often formed due to significant past events, are an important part of CBT in understanding how clients perceive themselves, the world and their future.


    • Deanna Tortora
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 18:56:38

      “It is important to know past experiences because it helps to shape who we are in the present”
      As you mentioned, one of the common myths about CBT is that it does not consider the past important. I think you make an excellent point here that on the contrary, CBT looks to the past to help understand some reasoning behind why clients are as they are. We take a history (e.g. life history, and eventually form a longitudinal view) of the client, and this certainly looks at the past. Many models in CBT, such as Barlow’s model of panic disorders, also considers some events/experiences in the past that impact the present client. So as Amanda said, this myth is busted! CBT definitely looks at the past so that we can help the client at the present.


    • Melissa Pope
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:47:40


      This is also a myth that I have heard people ignorantly talk about. I agree on your response and like how you put emphasis on how the past shapes and influences our current core beliefs. It is very helpful for case conceptualization and works in tandem with current issues that a client may be having. Like with everything in life, balance is key; and for therapy accounting for both current and past experiences is necessary to balance ones life.


  5. Deanna Tortora
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 17:58:40

    (1) In order to maintain and improve my competence as a cognitive-behavioral therapist I intend to:
    -participate in trainings (This will allow me to acquire more techniques, practices techniques, and simply learn of new or more refined techniques)
    -practice my skills, whether on myself or with my supervisor (This will allow me to develop my skills further by obtaining tips from my superior, but also learning what it is like to be a client when using certain techniques on myself)
    -going to therapy to sort out any of my own maladaptive behaviors and/or thoughts (This will allow me to continue to ensure that I will not be projecting any of my own issues on my clients, and that it is not impacting my effectiveness. This will also allow me to feel what it is like to be the client and learn how I may better assist clients with this information.)
    -making sure I am consistent with implementing CBT effective treatment with my clients (This will allow to check myself before I wreck myself, or worse others! That is, checking that I am implementing treatments properly will help me to insure I am being an effective therapist for clients)
    -continue/request to receive intensive supervision and feedback (This will allow me to receive constructive criticism that will help guide me on how to improve)
    -observing other therapists/colleagues if possible (This will allow me to gain new perspectives on treatment, but may also give me new ideas on ways to implement certain treatments and or techniques)
    -attending classes/training about new developments in the field and or simply classes on topics I feel will help improve my effectiveness (This will allow me stay up to date on new techniques that may help my clients)
    -attending conferences and reading journals/articles/books to stay up to date on the CBT model and treatments (This will also keep me up to date on new techniques but it may also help me approach certain treatments differently and even more effectively)
    One CBT myth I have heard from other people is that CBT only treats the symptoms but not underlying causes of distress. I have heard this in several classes that this is a common misconception largely due to using the DSM to assist with diagnosis and then basing treatment off of symptoms. I can understand why the myth developed, if someone thinks we use the DSM to diagnose and then use CBT to treat those symptoms but does not know about treatments that also search for the underlying causes of certain behaviors/symptoms and treatments for them, then it is understandable why they would believe such a myth. I try not to get too irritated when I hear others expel myths about CBT. Especially when it is relatively easy (in this day and age) to search for reputable sources and do some fact checking. (Ok maybe I do) But when I hear such comments all I can think about is that clearly this person/those people do not know much about CBT! One example of how we most certainly do treat the source, is when we work with clients to identify and modify core beliefs that may be otherwise keeping them from engaging in certain activities and/or are keeping them depressed etc. Identifying the source and modifying is an important part of treating the symptoms. One could argue that the sources of distress are not just the reason for the symptoms, but possibly another symptom itself. (E.g. Mark is depressed. He did not engage in social activities as much as he used to (behavioral inactivation-symptom) but he also displays a core belief of not being likable, that can be argued as a distressing symptom that should be treated.) Overall when I hear certain myths about CBT I get a bit fired up and defensive, but only because I know CBT is a research based therapy, with effective techniques supported by data and research! YEA SCIENCE!


    • Sam
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 14:43:03

      Nice comment in regards to CBT myths. Because CBT utilizes the DSM to treat diagnosis, it can often be misinterpreted that, those symptoms are the only aspects of the individual that are being treated. I assume that individuals who create such myths have no idea of the interventions and techniques CBT emphasizes, such as, like you mentioned, core beliefs and the modification of them. CBT of course begins with addressing presenting problems, which may also influence this myth, but only does so as sort of a ‘start’ to help clients gradually change their underlying problems. Those who believe this myth should recognize that CBT therapists are actually helping the individual adress their underlying issues and current distress by focusing on the present symptoms!


  6. Jayson Hidalgo
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 22:04:11

    Once I graduate and get licensed, I will most definitely observed other CBT therapists perform sessions. There will be additional reading and articles to read, but I learn much better by watching others so watching other professionals conduct therapy sessions will extremely help me. On top of that, the professionals will be conducting new techniques or interventions that I may not be familiarized with so I can continuously be updated on the new skills I will need to master because the skills that I know now, who knows, maybe in ten years these skills will not be extremely relevant to the practice anymore.

    To be honest, I have not heard much talk about CBT other than being at school. However, when I was reading the myths in the book, I cannot help, but think of one myth that has been on my mind, the positive thinking one. Thinking back to previous lectures, I can’t help, but think that maybe CBT is positive thinking since it just seems that we are trying to make the person’s life better by changing their thoughts to become more positive. Furthermore, we are constantly trying to improve a person’s life by simply making them feel better by adding positive thinking. However, the more I think about it, we are simply changing their thinking to become more adaptive and more realistic. It just so happens that thinking more realistically touches upon positive thinking. Furthermore, there will be sometimes when CBT involves a person’s new realistic perspective may not be too positive. A person may have a valid negative automatic thought and at this point, as CBT therapist, we have to influence realistic thinking and have the client accept the negative experiences or situations.


    • Becca Green
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 18:23:37

      Hi Jayson! It is definitely important to know your own learning style and what method will help you stay most up to date with CBT as you continue on with your career. I think it is awesome that you are aware of this now and are already thinking of ways in which you can incorporate that into your practice. I definitely see what you mean with observing other people, I feel like it can helpful to watch someone else conduct a technique before I try it as well.


    • Shannon O'Brien
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 22:11:16

      Jayson, I agree 100% with your comment about staying up to date with new techniques! I know for myself, once I learn something, get into a routine, and feel comfortable, I can have a hard time accepting new information or ways of doing things. So, I think constantly learning by reading and training is so important. We need to keep the well being of our client in mind, and that means staying up to date on new research and techniques while still appreciating the path it took to get there!


    • Mikala Korbey
      Dec 07, 2018 @ 19:24:51

      Jayson, I agree with you that observing others will be helpful to learn from them. I also think it could be beneficial to get supervised by a very well trained professional to get tips and feedback on the skills we already have. I also agree with you that doing is easier to learn than just reading about it. I am also the kind of learner that learns best by doing and agree that it is very important to keep up on the newest CBT skills.


  7. Marissa Martufi
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 22:53:24

    Once I graduate from Assumption College with my degree and get my license, I think it will be extremely important to continue to learn and improve upon my competence as a CBT therapist, as well as in regards to my area of specialty. I think the biggest misconception is that once you obtain a degree and begin your career, you no longer need to continue your education. I think that it is extremely important and necessary to maintain and improve upon your understanding, approach, and competence as a therapist. Fortunately, today there are several ways this can be done. For myself, I plan to attend seminars/workshops and conferences in order to learn from highly qualified therapists and individuals within the field. This is something that I unfortunately don’t get the time to do currently, but something that I truly look forward to participating in, in the future. I think that there is always something that can be learned in the field of psychology, so it is important to always make an effort to do so. This is important to keep up with the fast past of society and the field of mental health. In addition, reading peer reviewed articles and published books is beneficial to improve competence and learn more. Not only is it nice to take some time to read material you can relate to, it is also beneficial to growing your mind and yourself as a therapist. Dr. V also mentioned the importance of having a good supervisor. I think this is critical, although it is something that is out of your control. I believe that having a strong and knowledgeable supervisor is extremely important in order to gain insight and feedback on how you are doing as a therapist, as well as be a sound board for any questions or concerns that you may encounter. For myself, I think this is something I will take advantage of the most, as I enjoy being able to talk one on one with someone and gain a new perspective or insight. Lastly, I will continue to work on myself and identifying my biases, and gain a stronger sense of self-awareness. I imagine that as a practicing therapist, it can be easy to lose self-awareness at times, or forget to take time to work on yourself. This is something I plan to always make time for in order to be the best therapist that I can be, for my clients.

    As with any field, there are many myths about CBT. One particular myth I have heard from other people is that “all a therapist does is ask ‘and how does that make you feel?’”. I think a lot of people have an image in their mind of what a therapist is and does based on TV shows and movies, but have never personally experienced therapy to know that this is false. Although we as therapists may ask a client to reflect on their feelings or emotions, we engage in conversation and help the client to implement skills to manage and cope with their thoughts and emotions. In addition, another common myth about CBT is that there is no focus on the client’s past and only what they are currently experiencing. This is obviously false, as we cannot understand the present without gaining an understanding of the past. I think people often fail to realize how a person’s past can shape their experiences, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. Therefore, it is just as important to focus on the past as it is the present.


    • Sam
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 14:26:27

      I thought it was awesome that you mentioned almost this ultimate myth of therapy in general: “all a therapist does is ask ‘and how does that make you feel?’”
      It may not be specific to CBT, but I feel like often when people here the word “therapy” that’s immediately what comes to mind. But like you said, sure, we may be essentially asking the clients what they feel, but sometimes, people go to therapy because they don’t know what they’re feeling, or because they’re having a difficult time identifying thoughts or emotions! This is why that myth is awful because CBT especially, is so good about providing clients with skills to help identify those thoughts, and even if the client is able to identify them, CBT implements so many evidence-based interventions that prove the help the client in modifying their thoughts emotions and behaviors. Nice comment!


  8. Becca Green
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 14:03:22

    After graduating it will be important to me and to my clients that I maintain and improve my competence in CBT. I think the main thing I can do is continue being active with research and don’t get lazy just because I’ve graduated. Just keeping up with research and staying in touch with people who are actively looking into the research will be one of the easiest ways to keep up with the newest information coming out about CBT. Attending conferences and taking supplemental courses are other ways to stay active in learning more about CBT as it grows and changes over the years. I think it would also be important to connect with colleagues that are also practicing CBT to see what different techniques and tools they are using in their practice. Talking with other people who use CBT will help me to learn different ways to use the techniques with different clients and just gain other perspectives on using the techniques in real life.

    One of the myths that stuck with me is that people think the therapist-client relationship isn’t important in CBT. When I hear people saying things of this nature about CBT my first thought is that they don’t actually know what CBT is. Without a therapeutic alliance therapists wouldn’t be able to do CBT. Being able to have that foundation of trust and understanding the different techniques would not work, as they often push clients out of their comfort zone. If there wasn’t a strong therapeutic relationship then the client would not trust the therapist to push them or really continue with therapy.


    • Marissa Martufi
      Dec 08, 2018 @ 09:58:56

      Becca, I love that you mentioned being active with research and not getting lazy just because graduate school is complete! I think that this is so important. I feel like it could be easy to just sit back and forget about constantly improving your skills as a CBT therapist, especially after completing this program! It can be a lot and the thought of being done with school does sound nice, but like you said, it’s important to keep up with the newest information coming out about CBT. I also like how you included connecting with colleagues that are also practicing CBT because it can be so helpful in learning and hearing different perspectives and techniques. It’s also nice to have other therapists that you can talk to and also maintain that connection.


  9. Sam
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 14:17:36

    After graduating Assumption with my degree and going on to get licensed (hopefully), I will make it a priority of mine to remain “up to date” in regards to CBT. In this sense, as a beginning therapist, I will never be hesitant to ask questions when I am unsure. Also, although the textbooks I have and will continue to collect throughout graduate school have proved to be extremely helpful and useful as future references, it is important for myself, to remember that observing other CBT therapists conduct sessions as well as receiving CBT supervision will truly help me develop and maintain mastery of my CBT skills. Even thinking back to my first days as a residential counselor, I owe a lot of my confidence and knowledge to my supervisor who did an exceptional job at guiding me and providing constructive criticism to enhance my capabilities as a res counselor. Similar to this, utilizing my supervision hours will only improve my capabilities and allow me to grow into a much more competent therapist and maintain my skills throughout the years. Likewise, I would make it a point to continue training after graduate school. Keeping up to date with current research and treatment manuals will allow me to gain better understanding for CBT as it progresses through the years. This also reminds me of when I worked as a residential counselor, because my supervisor was continuously sending me to different forms of training related to the mental health field. After graduate school I will definitely continue to attend trainings, especially if they are offered through my place of employment. Finally, I want to make sure that as a therapist, I continue to stay motivated and driven to be the best helper I can be, and be sure to maintain my own mental health, in order to be able to continue growing and learning!

    A common myth I have encountered regarding CBT, is that CBT focuses only on thoughts and excludes emotions. Yet, it is so clear why this is evidently not true. CBT focuses plenty on emotions and teaching skills to help improve emotional states. We have even learned throughout this course that in some cases, it may be more beneficial to begin with emotions themselves rather than thoughts! (But I guess only us grad folks know that). CBT works to improve emotional states by focusing on the connection between thoughts and emotions along with behaviors and emotions. Yes, modifying maladaptive thoughts one of the primary approaches to CBT, but in helping clients change how they think, can help change how they feel, and helping clients change their actions, can also help them change how they feel! In this sense, there is pretty much no way that emotions can be ignored or excluded in CBT—so, like Dr. V says, this myth must be an emotional response in itself!


    • Becca Green
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 18:34:31

      Hi Sam! I think you bring up a very good point in your post. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! It is awesome that you are already aware of how important this is. All of the people that are professionals or experts started where we are now. They most certainly asked questions before they started to develop their own ways of conducting therapy. Especially as new therapists, we will make mistakes and not understand how to move forward with every client we see. Asking questions will give us the ability to learn and grow as professionals!


    • Marissa Martufi
      Dec 08, 2018 @ 10:04:18

      Sam, great post! I really liked how you included never being hesitant to ask questions, especially as a beginning therapist. I’m really glad that you included this point in your post! I think that asking questions is so important. I know for me, sometimes I can be hesitant to ask questions just out of fear of sounding incompetent or like I don’t know what I’m talking about. I think as a new therapist, it’s ok to not know everything, especially right out of graduate school. Although we will have experience from the classes we took and internship/practicum, there will sometimes be things that come up or situations in therapy that occur, that we don’t have the answers for. It is critical to ask questions when you’re unsure about something. It doesn’t mean your weak or incompetent, but rather that you are interested and open to learning more. I think this is an important quality to have as a therapist too.


  10. Mikala Korbey
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 19:11:59

    1) The most important thing that a therapist can do for themselves and their clients is to take care of themselves. If the therapist does not take care of their own needs and be mindful of their own values and how they view things, they could negatively impact a client’s experience in therapy. It will be really important for me that I monitor my own thoughts and feelings about a particular issue and be mindful of that in session. It is not my job to tell the client want to do or even what I think they should do, no matter how much I may want to sometimes. I am there to guide them towards figuring it out on their own. I also think it will be really important for me to receive CBT supervision so that I can ensure I am putting the skills I learn into appropriate use. I am the kind of person that needs to practice, make mistakes, and get guidance about how to fix it in order for me to fully understand something. Given that, it will very important to me to continue getting guidance from others who are much more proficient in CBT than I am.
    2) I have not heard too much to be honest from others in the field but I do have a friend who is studying in a clinical psychology program at another school and her program is not heavily CBT based like ours. She has told me before that she knows what CBT is but does not totally agree with it because she thinks CBT does not focus enough on emotions of the clients. I constantly tell her that this is not true and even show her textbook material and other such things that prove her wrong. I think that she thinks this because of a lack of knowledge of truly what CBT is and the benefits of using it. I have also heard comments from others who they say they are CBT therapists but do not utilize homework or any of the worksheet techniques we have used and it drives me crazy because that is fundamental part of CBT so you cannot call yourself a CBT therapist and not do those things.


  11. Nicole Plona
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 21:02:37

    1) After I graduate from Assumption and then later get licensed, the idea of maintaining as well as improving my skills as a cognitive – behavioral therapist will become one of my top priorities. It sounds cliché but practice makes perfect, and while I don’t believe there is such thing as a truly perfect therapist the idea of continual practice is needed to master any skill. To begin. I think it is extremely important to stay on top of the new studies that come out year to year. Knowing the newest information in the field will allow me as the therapist to help create the most beneficial therapy experience for each of my clients. Along with practicing and learning new information about the mental health field it is also import for me as the therapist to maintain good levels of my own mental health so that I don’t allow my own issues have any effect on what the client is going through and trying to fix.

    2) Whenever I bring up that I’m going to school to become a therapist with a concentration in CBT, the assumption that is generally made is that I will be sitting in a room with a client as they lie on a couch and tell me how they feel. This to me is one of the most irritating comments to hear because CBT is so much more then talking about feelings for an hour or so and leaving. It makes me feel as though they don’t think it’s a lot of work to be a therapist or that anyone could do it. And along with this myth people also think that therapy only happens one day a week for an hour in the office and that is it. Homework is such an important part of making progress with a client during CBT. It’s crazy to think about how people don’t realize that cognitive-behavioral therapy does not only take place in an office but also deals with outside environments. And clients have to continue to work on new skills without the therapist as well.


    • Shannon O'Brien
      Dec 05, 2018 @ 22:17:32

      Nicole, i liked your comment regarding homework in CBT. I don’t think a lot of people understand the importance of work outside of the actual session. I think this also relates to people’s idea that therapists will “just fix me.” of course we are here to educate and guide, but just telling people what to do (as we have all learned) is not the point and ultimately does little to nothing for our clients. Fostering autonomy needs to be one of our main goals and without encouraging our clients to take on some personal agency, the full effects of therapy will be lost.


    • Mikala Korbey
      Dec 07, 2018 @ 19:35:00

      Nicole, I agree with you that people are so unaware of what actually goes on in a therapy session, including in session and out of session. Unless they have experienced it themselves, they probably have no idea. Many people I have talked to about therapy in general think it is talking about their feelings and the therapist is there to give advice and problem solve for them. It is so not like that (as you know) and it is often so hard for me to not get too worked up when I hear people say that. I try to correct them if I can, but in some situations I just have to let it go and it kills me because they are just so wrong. I mostly think that this kind of thinking comes from a lack of knowledge honestly. Unfortunately many people are not going to know what therapy is actually like unless the experience it themselves.


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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