TEAM – Behavioral Therapy Classes

TEAM Therapy
TEAM is an acronym for a new approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy developed at Stanford University by David Burns MD. TEAM is not a “school” of therapy but a toolkit of evidence-based approaches to healing addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, interpersonal conflict and other forms of human suffering. TEAM includes the following four components:

Testing:

Sometimes patients know they don’t quite feel right but can’t put their finger on what is bothering them. Testing helps clarify the problem at hand. TEAM incorporates questionnaires that assess mood and symptoms at the beginning and end of every therapy session. These questionnaires also allow patients to tell therapists how the session went. By measuring these variables in real time TEAM keeps patients and therapists on the same page and on track towards the goals that they have set.

Empathy:

Patients benefit from having a place to talk freely and openly, knowing they can be themselves and be accepted, understood and respected just as they are. TEAM posits that empathic connection is a necessary ingredient for successful therapy and offers therapists advanced methods for connecting with their patients. TEAM offers more than just empathy. But empathy is seen as the foundation for delivery the sophisticated technology that will follow.

Agenda Setting:

Once we establish an empathic relationship and a clear sense of the change patients want, we consider the pros and cons of change and the effort likely needed to meet these goals. Oftentimes patients discover there are hidden advantages to symptoms. Maybe anxiety is protecting them from real danger. Maybe guilt is a reflection of a good value system. Maybe hopelessness is protective against disappointment. Regardless of the presenting problem patients are likely to have mixed feelings about the process of recovery. Agenda setting helps patients and therapists sort out these motivational factors and address them together before “going to work” on something the patient might not yet actually be willing to change.

Methods:

TEAM offers more than 50 powerful, evidence-based cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal tools. Based on the data collected and analyzed in real time on the Feeling Good Institute’s server, the Institute faculty is constantly revising, updating and adding to this toolkit. Methods taught in UNM Continuing Education classes include the Externalization of Voices, the Downward Arrow, the Feared Fantasy, the Demented Clone and various Shame Attacking exercises first developed by Albert Ellis, with whom Dr. Burns trained. Students at UNM have the opportunity to learn and practice these skills in small-groups supervised by a trainer from Dr. Burns’ Institute.

About the Instructor

Daniel Mintie LCSW, a trainer at the Mountain View California Feeling Good Institute, has 25 years experience treating addictions, anxiety, depression and trauma. He runs a bi-monthly TEAM training group at his Albuquerque office and provides TEAM consultation and training worldwide via the internet. You can learn more about Daniel by visiting his website at www.danielmintie.com.

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