Mind & Motion Developmental Centers of Atlanta
Invites you to a free CEU event with
Dr. Linda Buchanan
Conducting Individual Psychotherapy from a Systems Perspective
Tuesday August 27, 9:00-12:00
5050 Research Court
To RSVP contact Michelle Hill at
When conducting individual therapy, we are often so focused on listening to and validating our clients that we have the tendency to believe everything that we are told by them. Most of us received extensive training in listening, empathy and validation. The difficulty with this is that we often naturally side with the patient even when the patient’s perspective is distorted or is a projection of their false narratives. An example could occur when a client complains about his or her partner in such detail that most any listener would assume that the partner is a poor choice. However, upon further exploration, it may be found that the patient doesn’t believe people can be trusted and projects this belief onto all relationships. Suffice it to say that if the patients’ perspectives were always accurate, they probably wouldn’t need to be in therapy. Thus, valuable therapy time can be wasted chasing the client down well-worn paths rather than empowering the client to examine their beliefs and perspectives.
Although most therapists know the concepts related to projections, narrative and perspective, it can be very difficult to know when it is happening and how to address it during a session while still sounding empathetic. None of us want to come across as not believing our clients. Although we naturally take our clients’ side, we need skills to determine when this actually is not in their best interest. This workshop will focus on tenets and strategies informed by systems theory which enable the therapist to consider the client’s systems (both past and present) when listening to their stories and to utilize techniques which minimize splitting between parts in the client's system. Strategies will be presented which enable therapists to maintain neutrality in the session while empowering the client to reexamine their own perspectives. Additionally, strategies will be presented for enabling the therapist to increase awareness and ability to manage a client’s projections in psychotherapy. Finally, experiential exercises will be offered for practice in being present without taking a side.