CBT Experts Answer Tough Questions On Defeating Temptation & Establishing Healthy Habits

Jill Levitt, Ph.D., Richard Lam, LMFT, Stacy Clark, LMFT and Marshall Pagaling, Psy.D, present this free 1 hour Q-and-A-style webinar to teach you a fun and paradoxical approach to dealing with tempting thoughts and answer all of your questions about using CBT to reduce temptation and establish healthy habits.

This Q&A presentation for therapists with Jill Levitt, Ph.D., Richard Lam, LMFT, Stacy Clark, LMFT and Marshall Pagaling, Psy.D focused on utilizing the Devil's Advocate technique to help clients address negative thoughts and behaviors related to habits and addictions, and guide them on how to resist temptation.

The speakers emphasized meeting clients where they are in their readiness to change, highlighting the importance of understanding the client's goals and motivations. They discussed the role of cognitive distortions and the power of challenging tempting thoughts in session.

Throughout the presentation, examples were provided to illustrate the application of the technique, such as reframing tempting thoughts and addressing resistance to change. The speakers emphasized the need for therapists to avoid imposing their own agendas on clients and instead empower them to make their own decisions about change.

Questions from the audience addressed various aspects of the technique, including its effectiveness, the importance of client buy-in, and strategies on how to resist the temptation. The speakers emphasized the need for mindfulness, self-awareness, and collaboration in the therapeutic process to better fight temptation. They also highlighted the fact that making good lifestyle choices will result in a healthier life.

In conclusion, the presentation highlighted the practical application of the Devil's Advocate technique as a tool for promoting self-awareness, challenging negative thoughts, and facilitating meaningful change in clients with habits and addictions. Therapists were encouraged to continue exploring and refining their skills in supporting clients on their journey towards wellness.


Jill: Hi everyone, welcome to our first Wednesday of the month at noon series we've been offering on Team CBT from Feeling Good Institute. So our topic for today is “CBT experts answer tough questions on defeating temptations and establishing healthy habits”. Not the most succinct title. It's kind of a part two to a CE presentation that we did for many of you last month. And if you weren't there in our presentation last month, not to worry, because we are going to be touching on some of the really important sort of themes of what we talked about last month and kind of reiterating the things that you had particular questions about, kind of reinforcing those today. And then we'll also be leaving a lot of opportunity to answer questions live.

So it's, kind of a flexible and casual get together where you can have an opportunity to send questions and we'll answer them. We're also going to answer some of the most common questions that we received in the webinar that we did last month. So if you do have questions throughout the webinar, please go ahead and enter them in the chat box. You can send them to me. So send them to Jill Levitt. You can't chat the whole group, but you can chat the hosts and co-hosts. So send me a chat just asking me a question and then when it comes time for Q&A, I'll open up and we'll answer as many questions as we can. I'm going to start by introducing you to today's presenters.

I'll start with Richard. Richard Lam is a licensed marriage and family therapist with Feeling Good Institute in Mountain View, California. He's a graduate of Palo Alto University and a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He currently provides short-term therapy for anxiety, OCD, habits and addictions, depression, and relationship concerns using cognitive behavioral therapy. And Richard is not only a therapist, he's also a dedicated educator. And as a trainer and a mentor and an educator, he imparts the insights of David Burns' model of CBT that's known as Team CBT. Richard hosts the Feeling Good Therapist on YouTube featuring therapy techniques demonstrated by fellow therapists. And he's a certified level five master therapist and trainer in team CBT therapy. And I'll introduce you to Stacy. Stacy Clark has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for over 25 years with extensive experience in crisis intervention and emergency mental health. She's a graduate of UCLA, and she holds a master's degree from USC, and she enjoys working with individuals and couples who are struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship, parenting issues, attention concerns, ADHD, PTSD, trauma, sexual orientation, and gender identity. And she's a level two certified team CBT clinician who practices in person in Southern California and then throughout California via telehealth. And Stacy looks forward to sharing her insight and skills with you here today.

And our third featured presenter, Marshall Pagling is not going to be with us today. He had a family medical situation that he had to attend to. And so I'll be kind of stepping in in the role of Marshall today and try to do him some justice.

I was just going to make sure this slide was here. I thought I had skipped it, actually. So let me just tell you a little bit about who we are at Feeling Good Institute, and then we'll move to the kind of heart of the presentation and talk to you all about tempting thoughts and habits.

In Feeling Good Institute, we're really dedicated to the mission of alleviating suffering in our patients by elevating the practice of therapy. So we provide treatment for patients and we also provide a lot of training for therapists. We train and certify therapists in the processes of evidence-based CBT that are known to be most effective.

So things like the use of measurement with our patients, empathy skills, working on motivation and reducing resistance, and then of course the classic cognitive and behavioral therapy skills.

Therapists with Feeling Good Institute are really highly skilled and vetted. We engage in a weekly system of continuous improvement. We actually use the deliberate practice model, which we're going to be presenting to you all next month in the first Wednesday of the month didactic next month. So hopefully you can tune in for that.

We also offer clinical services to meet clients' needs in person, as well as on video across the United States and Canada. And then we offer lower fee options. We offer intensive therapy options where people come into town to work with us in person for many hours a day, many days a week in order to really expedite the process of therapy and as well as kind of traditional therapy.

So I'm going to turn it over to Richard to get us started. Richard's going to share a story with us.

Richard: So everyone knows, I think I drank a lot of coffee today. So I probably have a coffee addiction that if I'm like running in the background or something, just so you know, it's just me having too much caffeine. So I want to share this story.

Jimmy, a 35-year-old married man, software engineer, comes to therapy and he tells me his story. Jimmy got a high position as a software engineer six months ago. And he remembers the celebration of getting the job. Cheers. He remembers the oh shit moment when he realized I'm an imposter. He remembers the critical feedback of the performance reviews. He remembers the panic before work. He remembers the stress after work. Every moment after this, is a blur.

Except Jimmy remembers his wife saying to him, you aren't the Jimmy I married. I don't know if I can continue like this. You see, Jimmy is not drinking water like I am today. He was drinking one to two bottles of wine per day.

In therapy, he discovered his tempting thoughts. Wine will make me feel better. One more drink can't hurt. He identified distortions, the emotional reasoning, the minimization. He used the devil's advocate technique. He says, you say to me, one more drink can't hurt. But it's never just one more. And it hurts. It's hurting my wife, my chances of a family, everything I worked so hard for.

No more. I'll do whatever it takes to fight you, devil. Today, if you remember, is the challenge of the temptations. He remembers the hard work he put in in therapy. Most importantly, he remembers the tools he has learned to help him overcome his addiction. My hope is that we all can help people like Jimmy overcome their addictions and their habits. Next slide, please.

So not only do I want us to help others overcome our habits and addictions, my personal belief is being able to practice what we preach. And we all struggle with addictions. Last month, we took a poll of everyone who joined our training, and roughly about 70% of us struggle with one of these, smoking, drinking, overeating, physical inactivity, insufficient sleep, procrastination. And I just even shared one earlier about my coffee drinking. And we all struggle with certain unhealthy habits or habits that don't serve us. And my hope is this kind of give us a little more empathy for those who struggle with addictions and habits. And to be able to use these skills, not only for others, but also for ourselves as well. Because the majority of us experience it.

Jill: Thanks, Richard. So yeah, I think the goal, oh goodness, the formatting didn't turn out so well as I downloaded this into PowerPoint. Sorry about that. My hope is that we will not only all be getting some tools today and asking questions about tools today that we can use with our patients, but actually these are tools that we can use to tweak and to change the kind of commonplace habits that many of us experience. I don't know anyone who doesn't have moments of procrastination these days. That one in particular seems so common.

So the model that we're going to be talking to you about today and answering questions about today is this model. It's really a cognitive model of tempting thoughts and addictive behaviors. And this really, we totally recognize that there are many other ways to work on habits and addictions. The only way, but this is the way we'll be talking about today.

And so many of you who do CBT or know about CBT, of course, know the cognitive model that comes into place for depression or anxiety. And that is that we would enter a situation. Let's say I have test taking anxiety.

I'm going to take an exam. I have the thought that, oh, my goodness, I didn't study enough for this exam. And it's just so important that. And then I would have a feeling like anxiety or stress, worry, pessimism. And then maybe I would have a behavior like an avoidance type behavior or maybe an over preparation behavior or something like that. And so it's kind of we're very familiar thinking about depression and anxiety through this kind of cognitive model.

And essentially, we want to bring that same lens to thinking about habits and addictions, which is that we enter a situation and we may have some tempting thoughts that come up. for us. So let's imagine that I was trying to decrease or control my drinking and I was driving home from work and I might be feeling, you know, kind of stressed from the end of the day. And then I actually see a bar that I'm driving by that I've had some fun times with with friends. And maybe I have the thought, oh, I wonder who's in there. And maybe I could just get one drink and one drink would really help me to kind of feel calm and subtle. That sounds really appealing. And you know, these kinds of thoughts would lead to emotions like excitement or temptation or pleasure or curiosity. And then these feelings, right, could lead to the behavior of kind of pulling over, parking my car and seeing who's inside. And then on the other hand, also, we can teach and help our patients to identify those tempting thoughts. We can also talk back to them and we can have self-control thoughts.

Like, for example, I could be telling myself, no, you know, actually, it's never one drink. And, one drink isn't going to do you any good. And let's, you know, skip the bar and drive home and call your best friend who's going to remind you why it's a good idea not to drink. And so we can use kind of thoughts to really change and control the outcomes with habits and addictions. And the way that we do that, actually, we use this tool that's called a habit addiction log or addiction habit log, we seem to go back and forth on it. And this is a tool developed by David Burns. It's very much like a daily mood log or a thought record. We want to identify a particular moment in time, a tempting situation. This would be before we're tempted to engage in that habit that we really want to work on. And we're going to help our patients to identify the feelings that are coming up for them in that moment. They could be pleasurable feelings like tempted or excited, or they could be negative emotions like anxious or stressed or worried. And we're going to help our patients to think of what are the thoughts that seem to be driving those behaviors, right? What are the thoughts that come through my head that really kind of push me to do that thing and help them to identify those tempting thoughts? We also talked to you guys last time about identifying cognitive distortions, which we are not going to go through again today.

The one method we're going to just share with you again today in a role play, and then the rest of the time we'll spend for questions and go over some questions we already got and field some of your new questions. But this one method we wanted to just reinforce because we got lots of questions about it last time is called the devil's advocate technique. So this is a role play technique. And we only do this after we understand what the patient's, you know, tempting situations are, tempting thoughts, etc.

In this role play technique, the patient is going to play the role of themselves. So that's kind of easy. The therapist is going to play the role of the kind of devil on the patient's shoulder, tempting them to engage in that unwanted habit.

So we're going to use the tempting thoughts the patient has given us on that habit addiction log. We've got a list of all the thoughts that kind of get in their way and tempt them. And the therapist is going to use those tempting thoughts in this role play. So the therapist will play the role of the tempter, the devil on the shoulder, and the patient's role is to talk back to that tempting thought to generate kind of a self-control thought. And we always want to make sure the patient writes it down. And then the role of the therapist, remember, the more tempting you are, the better, right? So the more kind of over the top and tempting you are, almost the easier it is for the patient to be like, no, no, no, no, I'm not going to do that.

So I'll just briefly mention, this is Marshall's patient that he presented last time. So Marshall worked with a patient whose name is Brian. And again, we always disguise identity. But Brian is a 25-year-old who's... really a very bright and ambitious young man who's a college graduate and he's a musician. And in addition to working a full-time job, he has this kind of passion or this mission of wanting to raise money to bring music to underserved communities. So he feels really passionate about it. But as a result of his passion and his ambitions, he's feeling really eager to raise a lot of money quickly. and he's feeling kind of desperate that the money he's making at work isn't enough. And so he actually turns to gambling to try to earn some money quickly. And what would happen would be a Friday night after a long day of work where he feels actually kind of excited and optimistic about earning some extra money so he can get his project off the ground. And then as he starts to lean into the gambling, he certainly has emotions like anxious and concerned, but his tempting thoughts and his initial feelings are excited and optimistic. And he has tempting thoughts like one spin and I can be rich. And then when he does engage in his beginning the gambling, he has further tempting thoughts, even if he's behind like Oh, but I can just make it up on the next spin. And of course, there are lots more tempting thoughts. But we're just going to do a quick demo for you of the devil's advocate technique using Brian's example. So I'm going to play the role of the therapist in this. And Richard is going to play the role of the patient. And so I would say to you, Richard, my patient, I'll just call you Richard for the demonstration.

Or I'll call you Brian for the demonstration. So Brian, I'm going to try a method with you that's called the devil's advocate technique. And it's a role playing method. So you can be yourself. You can be Brian. And I'm going to play the role of the devil. You know, those angel devil cartoons. I'm going to be the devil sitting on your shoulder, really trying to tempt you to gamble, to gamble now. And I'm going to use all your tempting thoughts that you've already shared with me. And I'm going to really try and push you in this role. And then your role is actually to talk back to those tempting thoughts, to kind of put me in my place and put your foot down and refuse to engage in the gambling behavior that you and I have been working on. Does that make sense to you? It does. Okay. So I'm going to get us started.

So Yeah, Brian, I know you really want to go and gamble and remember just one spin and you could be rich. You could make all the money for your musical venue.

Richard: It's never just one spin. Every time I spin once, if I lose, I want to spin again until I win. But every time I win, I want to spin again because I don't want to lose my winning streak. So it's never just one spin and the odds of making it really big. I looked online, it's 3 million to one. So it's very unlikely that I'll win big and make it rich.

Jill: Right. And I'm writing that down meanwhile. And then I'm going to ask Richard or sorry, Brian, who won that? Was that you or was that me?

Richard: Oh, I definitely won that one.

Jill: Yeah, that seemed like a huge win. So Then we would both write it down. We'd make sure that we got kind of all of that down on paper. And that was definitely a really strong response. So then I would move on to the next one. So let's give it one more try. Brian, you know, let's imagine you're now in this situation.

You've done a bit of gambling and you're kind of down a little bit. Right. So I'm just going to remind you.

But don't worry, Brian, like you just got to keep going. You can make it all up on the next spin.

Richard: I mean, you tell me that, but I never make it up in the next minute. I always lose. I'm in the negative right now. And I continue to be in the negative. And the more I listen to you, the more negative I'll be. So I'm never going to make it up.

Jill: Great. And who won that, Brian? Was that you or me?

Richard: For sure, it's me.

Jill: Yeah. Okay. And so then again, we'll write that down. And we just wanted to give you kind of a quick and easy demo here. Obviously, it doesn't always go so easily, and we can answer questions about that when we get to the Q&A. But rather than giving you kind of too much info and too many scenarios, we want to kind of turn it over to you. We want the rest of the info that we share with you today really to be driven by your questions. We're going to start out with questions that you posed to us during the last webinar that we ran out of time. So I'm going to turn to Richard and Stacey to answer I have six questions on the screen in the next two slides. My formatting turned off here too. At the last minute, I decided to download it as a PowerPoint thinking that would be better. So I won't do that next time, but hopefully you'll all forgive me for the minor formatting issues here. So let's go to the questions. And then while I'm asking and answering these questions, please feel free to send new ones to me in the chat box. And then the three of us will take some turns answering your new questions. So one question that we got last time that I'm going to ask you to answer for me, Richard, is let's say that the client is stating negative thoughts and tempting thoughts. So should we fill out a daily mood log at the same time as that habit and addiction log? Or is it better to tell them that we're going to save those kind of negative thoughts for later and then only write down and focus on the tempting thoughts? Richard: That's a really great question. And a lot of my students probably know I give very unsatisfying answers. And the reason why is it depends. And the reason why it depends is it really depends if they're working on decreasing their moods or changing a behavior. If they are sharing negative thoughts, we can change their moods. But if they're wanting to change behavior, we can change the habit behind it. One thing I would recommend to everyone is taking as much notes as possible. Even if you're working on like tempting thoughts, if they're sharing negative thoughts, I'm going to write that on the side just so that way I know where I can use this in the future. Oftentimes what happens is people want both. They want to work on decreasing their moods and they want to work on changing their habits and addictions.

So the best thing that we can do is just get as much information as possible. We'll use it later. I don't want to overwhelm. the patient with too much information. So I'll just keep it for myself to store and use again later and jot it down and getting as much information as helpful.

Jill: Great. I think that's a great answer. We're going to stay focused on the habit and the addiction, but we're going to recognize these thoughts that are coming up that probably are going to need to be addressed if the patient wants help with working on the depression or the anxiety or whatever those negative thoughts are related to. So I'll ask you the next one, Stacy. A patient said, I wonder about also applying all alternative ideas that could become options for tempting thoughts.

So like what else would be healthier for me to eat instead of eating sweets?

Stacy: Now, this is a great question because it allows me to address that the devil's advocate technique that we just modeled earlier. both in our last presentation and just now, is actually one of many powerful tools that we have to help our clients change their behavior. As Jill and Richard said, it really depends on what the client is wanting help with, if it's a mood issue or a behavior. But I think this question is addressing, focusing on healthier options instead of focusing specifically on the negative behavior or the tempting thought. And there are definitely other ways to do that. So for instance, they might want to work on a problem solution list, which would help the client generate healthier alternatives.

This can be really beneficial because the client does this when they're not tempted, which in turn can also make it easier for them to implement this when they are tempted. But for someone who's struggling maybe with other issues, they might want to complete, say, an anti-procrastination worksheet or maybe do a cost-benefit analysis or maybe a double paradox table, which this helps the client think differently about their habit or addiction. So some of you may be familiar, but for some of you who aren't, the double paradox table asks them to list both the benefits and advantages of continuing to use versus the drawbacks or disadvantages of their new goal behavior. And there's also... you know, a triple paradox or a kind of positive reframing table for habits and addictions that's similar to the double paradox, but it also asks them to look at, you know, what are their core values?

What are their habits and addictions? What is the habit and addiction showing about them that's actually positive and awesome? So, you know, there's lots of different ways that we can address this. And these are just a few of the tools that are available, but again, I think it's really important to remember that we don't just start throwing tools and methods at clients, you know, that we work within the team CBT framework.

So we first always start with testing and then only move on to methods after we've received an A on empathy and work through the agenda setting and assessment or resistance.

Jill: Okay, awesome. So let's go to the next one. Richard, would you recommend applying the devil's advocate technique after teaching thought challenging techniques, or is this something that could be used in place of that?

Richard: So when it comes to this one, people come in with different ways they perceive the world, different values, different things that are important to them. So at the end of the day, what I want to do is I want to offer them an invitation of, hey, do you want to work on feeling better about this? Or do you want to work on changing it? And you're going to have different outcomes, different skills and tools for each.

So when it comes to thought challenging techniques, it'll help them feel better, but it doesn't necessarily mean that things will change. However, if they want to work on the habit and change things, it doesn't necessarily mean that they'll feel better. However, one of the things is sometimes they want both.

And at this point, it's either up to us to determine which one to work on first, or it's up to the patient which one. It really depends based off of the habits and or addiction that they're facing. So it could be a good option to do some devil's advocate technique after thought challenging techniques or vice versa. So it's really going to be dependent on the patient that comes in and what they're struggling with and their background and what they care about and their values.

Jill: Yeah, and I was going to also say a super simple answer to this question would be that the devil's advocate is a thought challenging technique, right? I mean, it is a tempting thought challenging technique. So I'm guessing implied in this question is sort of like the first question that we got, like that someone is seeing the difference between, let's say, negative thoughts, like I'm a loser, and tempting thoughts, like I should have a drink.

And, you know, obviously, then we're deciding, as Richard said, what is the person's agenda? What do they really want help with? Do they want help feeling better about themselves and not changing their behavior? Do they want help changing their behavior? And of course, if they want both, we're still figuring out where do we want to start? But I did just want to find out, actually, the devil's advocate technique is a thought challenging technique for tempting thoughts, right?

Richard: Absolutely. Can I just chime in on one more thing, Jill, around that one?

I think oftentimes people ask me, I don't really understand the difference of what is a negative thought and what's a tempting thought. I know we covered it last week or last month, rather, but it might be helpful to distinguish the two where the negative thought creates negative emotions and the tempting thought encourages you to get relief or get some positive emotion out of it. So for me, when it comes to my coffee addiction, I don't want to feel guilty anymore. So I'll probably just work on decreasing the negative thoughts so I feel better and continue drinking coffee.

However, when it comes to eating too much hot Cheetos, I might want to decrease that because I don't feel as healthy eating that many hot Cheetos. So I work on my tempting thoughts to decrease my behavior rather than my emotion behind it.

Jill: Yeah. And we also want people to know that all the examples we're giving are personal examples, things like that. The whole point is that the goal, like, is it important to not eat hot Cheetos?

Only if that's incredibly important to the patient, right? Yeah. for many people, that would be a perfectly fine and reasonable behavior. And so we're always trying, and people who know the framework of Team CBT, we're always trying to meet the patient where they're at and really understand what is their goal and why is that important to them. They have to convince us that they want to change. And then we have lots and lots of tools to help them get there.

Let me go to the next question. So Richard, what would you recommend for clients with eating disorders who struggle with both binging and restricting. This person said sometimes they can get into cycles where there are two devils on their shoulder. So tell us about that.

Also, I just want to say if someone raised their hand, instead of raising your hand, just enter your question in the chat box. You can just send it to me, to Jill in the chat box.

Richard: Well, first, I just want to say disclaimer is eating disorders are very complex. And there's a lot of nuances when it comes to how to handle eating disorders, where it can include family interventions and also other things as well.

So definitely when it comes to eating disorders, look into it a little bit more, consult with experts. And just to answer this question, of course, we'll use a lot of different skills and tools. However, when it comes to devil's advocate technique, you are facing two different habits, one of binging and one of restricting.

And we just fight both of those doubles. and use the devil's advocate technique to create self-control thoughts or both to find a balance.

Jill: Great. And then someone asks, Stacy, I'll ask you this one. Someone asks, what about harm reduction? Can you use the devil's advocate technique to reduce problematic drinking but not aim for total abstinence?

Stacy: I love this question. And I especially like the growing focus on harm reduction. Because again, it emphasizes meeting the client where they are. And that's really, as Jill mentioned, something that's really the cornerstone of Team CBT. We're not here to force anyone to change based on our values or beliefs. In fact, we often discover that there are many good reasons not to change. So we really need to know what the client wants to work on.

I think we keep saying that, but I think that that's really the crux of everything. So we have... we definitely have tools to help them, but it's not up to us to decide what's best for our clients. So for some people, they will be about wanting to stop this unwanted behavior altogether, but for others, they only really want to make a reduction. And often we find that some clients actually don't want to change their behavior at all, but really they only want to feel better about it, right? That is to kind of accept themselves flaws and all.

So it really depends on what the client wants and what they want will really change the types of tools that we use.

Jill: Great. Thank you, Stacey. And I'll ask you that last one, and then I'll turn to my chat box where I've got lots of questions. If a client is unable to challenge a tempting thought during the role play, um do you treat it like you do in externalization of voices role play? Meaning, do you help them out? Do you don't do a role reversal? And it's similar just to say that i i got a similar question than Shopbox. What do you do if the patient can't generate a self-control thought or if they don't win, basically?

Stacy: Yeah, I think this one is really difficult for the for the therapist actually because the devil's advocate technique is actually one of the few role plays where We don't want to reverse the roles.

And I think it's really tempting for us, right? But it's, again, it's not up to us to decide what's best for the client. And also you can't talk someone out of a habit or addiction because it's really an issue of motivation. We don't want to be the one making the suggestions or helping the client and doing that can actually increase resistance.

So, you know, in some ways, this technique, the devil's advocate technique, can not only be powerful, but it's also very informative, right? If they can't talk back to their temptations in the session with you in a safe environment, then that might actually tell you that this is not something that they want to change at all. Or after all, I guess, you know, they may think that they want, but kind of if they're running into these issues and they're not able to do that um then that gives you information.

So, you know, remember that the thoughts that we're using in this role play, they're not just any thoughts or temptations that we generate. They're actually the client's own tempting thoughts. So again, this technique is very paradoxical where clients have a chance to stand up to their own kind of internal bully of sorts. And then they have a chance to come to their own defense. And if they can't do that, then we as their therapists have to be okay with the client's choice. And we may need to sit with open hands. When we stop trying to convince them, then that actually gives the client the opportunity to convince us that they want to change. Or if they don't want to change, then we can offer an invitation to help them with something else.

Richard: One thing I want to add too: I 100% agree with you, Stacy. One thing that I've learned from when I was back as an intern, and I had this really amazing supervisor, Angela Krumm. She taught me that there's a different way that we can approach this when they feel stuck, where one thing I mentioned is we're always jotting down a lot of notes when we're hearing their story, hearing why they're motivated to change things. And one thing that could be really helpful is reminding them, hey, you mentioned this to me, is this something that you can use in this role play with me? And just to help them remember what they shared in the past, not to give them answers, but to kind of share with them the answers they've already given you. So that way they have the power to fight back in these moments.

Stacy: True. And I think, I think Jill, you mentioned previously that, you know, sometimes looking at someone's negative thoughts and looking at the distortion in it can help give them some clues on how to fight back as well. But again, this is all stuff that's generated from the client. I think that's important.

Jill: Right. It's like we're kind of trying to strike a delicate balance of not spoon feeding the patient, not trying to convince them to change, not giving them information we already know that they have. Right. But trying to curiously wonder, did you, you know, sometimes I'll even say, do you want to try it again? You know, take a minute.

Did you want to give that another shot? Review the distortions. Think about some of the conversations we've had. Do you want to give that another shot? But the idea that we're trying to communicate here too, though, is that there is a lot of ambivalence in changing with habits and addictions. And we're going to be really careful not to try to get in the role of trying to convince our patients to change because that always leads to intensifying resistance, right? And instead, we're going to really try and we say sit with open hands, meaning say, maybe that's not something you did want my help with.

Maybe you don't need to change that behavior. And then oftentimes when we're willing to kind of pull back and say, very respectfully, you know, and even empathically, it sounds like maybe that isn't something that you should have to change. Oftentimes, a patient will kind of flip and then start to chase us and say, no, but I need to change because, you know, A, B, and C. And so that kind of paradoxical approach can be really helpful.

QnA Session

Jill: So we'll just have a few slides to share with you to finish up. So we have many students probably who are here who are currently in the Fast Track program. We've gotten really great feedback about this. And we're starting a new kind of cohort in June. And this is like a five-month pretty intensive training program. It's what we call a hybrid program where you can actually each week log in and watch pre-recorded home study didactic presentations with slides with myself and David Burns.

And then after you do your kind of home study independent learning each week, you're part of a practice group where you actually have an opportunity to practice, get feedback, practice more, get more feedback and really kind of master the skills that we're teaching in this kind of advanced CBT course. And so we're offering again in June and you can find out more info on our website and we'll follow up with an email with a registration link to you guys as well. We also really hope that you put on your calendar the first Wednesday at noon of every month. We hope you can be with us.

Next month, it's actually a continuing education training. And the topic is Elevate Your CBT Skills with Deliberate Practice.

This is going to be taught by Maora Katz, Mike Christensen, and then two really amazing people who are very steeped in the deliberate practice literature. And they're going to be presenting with Mike and Maor and I know that we're going to learn a lot.

So I'll just finish by saying thank you all for joining us today and thank you so much to Richard and Stacey. We hope that you all found it valuable and that you learned some new practical tools that you can use to help your patients to, and yourselves actually, to talk back to temptation. And if you're considering furthering your expertise in Team CBT, we do offer certification and training programs.

And if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us about certification or training at our email address on the screen here or check out our website.

And lastly, if you know of anyone who could benefit from our services, whether that's a friend, a family member, a client, you can always check out feelinggoodinstitute.com to see therapists that are available and have expertise to help you or your loved ones.

And as always, our commitment is to try to be helpful to you. We believe in the power of sharing knowledge and building meaningful connections.

So if you have any other questions or feedback, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We're here to support you in any way that we can. Hope that you have a wonderful day and hope that we can see all of you again next month. Bye everyone!

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