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Therapeutic Presence via the Mindful Communication Sequence (MCS): A Mindfulness-Based Communication Method for Clinicians
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Research is clear that experience or techniques are not the best predictors of client outcomes in psychotherapy. The best therapy outcomes come for clinicians who cultivate and maintain high quality therapeutic alliances with their clients. These clinicians are more present, engaged, flexible, accepting of experience and integrated in their processing of moment-to-moment information, and therefore develop the presence and timing to deliver the most effective interventions. In a word, these clinicians learn the skills of “mindful truth-telling” relative to their moment-to-moment experience and how to intervene and communicate authentically, compassionately and directly - even when things are less than comfortable. The Mindful Communication Sequence (MCS) fosters the therapeutic alliance, enhances treatment, and is a model and method for building mindful, flexible management of experience for clients themselves.

Many clinicians are looking to bring mindfulness techniques into their practices, but there are few resources for integrating mindfulness into one’s general communication stance with all clients - this seminar introduces a simple, comprehensive method (MCS) for understanding, managing and enhancing the authenticity of therapeutic communication with clients. MCS integrates components from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other mindfulness interventions and family / systems therapies and is a helpful companion to therapists of diverse technical and theoretical backgrounds. MCS enhances the quality of therapeutic alliances with clients, manages “ruptures” in the alliance, and develops accurate timing of interventions. Altogether, the skills covered in this method build the the “presence” of the clinician, maximizing positive therapeutic outcomes.

Objectives

  1. Evaluate evidence-based mindfulness and here-and-now relationship management interventions for maximizing effective intervention timing, avoiding perceptual bias and error, and intervening based on all the available and relevant clinical information
  2. Develop skills for understanding and skillfully maintaining flexible and effective thinking and clinical decision-making, managing countertransference reactions to clients, and cultivating skills for compassionate perspective-taking and communication.
  3. Implement skills for to coaching clients in session to bring the Mindful Communication Sequence (MCS) to bear in their real-world interactions with others.

Outline

  1. Mindfulness and here-and-now relationship management interventions
    1. Maximize effective intervention timing
    2. Avoid perceptual bias and error
    3. Intervene based on available and relevant clinical information
  2. Demonstrate skills
    1. Skillfully maintaining flexible and effective thinking
    2. Clinical decision-making
    3. Manage countertransference reactions
    4. Cultivate skills for compassionate perspective-taking and communication
  3. Skills for coaching clients in session to bring the Mindful Communication Sequence (MCS)

 

Mitch Abblett, Ph.D.

Mitch Abblett, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, clinical administrator, supervisor and trainer. He has appeared on local and regional television programs in New England, and has written in professional periodicals regarding children’s mental health needs.

Dr. Abblett also serves as the Clinical Director of Judge Baker Children’s Center’s Manville School, a well-established therapeutic day school for special education children with significant learning, emotional and behavior challenges. In addition to his work with emotionally-behaviorally disordered children, Dr. Abblett has also worked with a variety of populations presenting difficult behavior patterns (aggression, trauma reactivity, combat veterans, sexual perpetration, and addiction). Dr. Abblett has conducted numerous trainings regarding clinical work with difficult populations, and is a dynamic, engaging speaker. 

He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including The Mindfulness Skills Activity Book for Children (PESI, 2018) and The Challenging Child Toolbox (PESI, 2018).  Dr. Abblett is also the co-author of the Growing Mindful (PESI, 2015), Growing Mindful 2nd Edition (PESI, 2019), Growing Mindful Spanish Edition (PESI, 2016), Growing Happy (PESI, 2016), Mindful Reminders (PESI, 2016), The Self-Compassion (PESI, 2016) and Anti-Burnout (PESI, 2017) card decks.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Mitch Abblett is the Clinical Director of the Manville School/Judge Baker Children’s Center. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Massachusetts School for Professional Psychology. He maintains a private practice. Dr. Abblett receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Dr. Mitch Abblett is a member of the American Psychological Association.


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