Yesterday was a really cool day. It was really fun day. I hosted an online lecture. We were talking about using the Solution Focused approach with couples. We had about 1400 or so people sign up and I got tons of wonderful questions that sparked my thinking.
And one of the questions is a question that I’ve had come up lots and lots over the years. And that was someone asking, do I advocate for using one therapy approach or do I think it’s okay to be eclectic and add many things to what we do? And you know, that question comes up so much. So I thought I’d make this video and share with you why it’s really, really important, at least to me it’s really, really important, that you master a clinical approach instead of trying to master everything.
So a few years ago I was on a long flight and on my way to the airplane, I stopped in a bookstore like many of us do. And I bought a book. It was called Outliers by a man named Malcolm Gladwell. And I bought the book Outliers and I’m sitting on the plane reading it. And it was a wonderful, wonderful book.
I’m actually a pretty slow reader. And I read the entire book on the flight. And one of the things that it talked about in this book was the 10,000 hour rule that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to get good at a skill. And I want to argue that Psychotherapy is a skill and you don’t have enough time. 10,000 hours is a lot of time.
You can’t study Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Strategic Therapy, Adlerian Therapy. You can’t study these approaches and then dedicate the amount of time to put in the hours of deliberate practice to get good at them. People, we have to understand that your clients are coming to you because their lives are hurting. There’s a struggle going on in their life and they’re coming to you because they need help.
They’re coming to you because something has gone on in their life to cause them pain. And they need you to be the master of a skill, to be able to help them heal and overcome whatever challenges have come into their life. And we owe it to them to be good at what we do. We owe it to them to have a mastery of the language associated with whatever therapy approach we’re applying.
We owe it to them to be able to help them at our best. And the truth is there’s a lot of research in our field about this. The most effective therapists show fidelity to an approach and this idea that we should be blending approaches. It is not supported by research and it’s not supported by how you master a skill. You know, I remember being in graduate school and I was thinking about these things when I was in graduate school, because they were throwing all these therapies at me. Like I can remember clearly studying that book that has all, all the Psychotherapy approaches in it.
You know, chapter one was Freud and chapter two was Jung and chapter three was Adler on and on and on. I mean they literally through dozens of therapy approaches at us. And I would watch videos. I have professors that would show me videos of all of these master clinicians. And the one thing I noticed about every single one of these master clinicians is they were not eclectic. Every single one of these master clinicians had mastered an approach. And it shifted the way that I was studying because it made me want to master an approach. It made me want to find an approach that fit with the way I wanted to do therapy.
And that approach for me became Solution Focused Brief Therapy, which I’m currently an advocate for. And I currently teach, and I practice and I’m passionate about. But you should get passionate and interested in one approach to help you do this work. It’s really, really important that we understand that it’s our job to do evidence-based work. And the only way to do that is to show fidelity to an approach.
And that’s how you master the skill of being a Psychotherapist. Thank you so much for watching this video. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want more videos like this, please subscribe to this channel and make sure you hit the bell so you get notifications and don’t forget to leave a comment. One of my favorite things is interacting with people and learning what they got from the video. So thanks for watching. Subscribe. Comment. See you soon.
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