Changeways Clinic

Additional Programs

We are constantly developing new training programs for mental health professionals. If you would like to have a tailored version of one of the programs listed elsewhere, or if you would like another program, just ask us.

Here are some other examples of programs we offer:

The Cognitive Toolkit

A set of extremely practice-oriented half-day programs, each emphasizing a small number of cognitive therapy techniques. Each technique is discussed and demonstrated, then participants have the opportunity to practice the technique on one another in therapy simulations.

The programs can be selected and pieced together in various ways. We can offer a single half-day, presenting just one of the components, or we can combine components to create full-day, two-day, or three-day programs. We can also create a weekly course that could run for a month or more.

Here are some of the components:

  • Cognitive Therapy in Practice - 1. How to present the model to clients. Proving the existence of thoughts outside awareness. The downward arrow. Cognitive biases and distorted beliefs. Practice with the 3-column and 5-column techniques.
  • Cognitive Therapy in Practice - 2. The cumulative probability technique. Behavioural Experiments as a crossover strategy between behavioural and cognitive methods. Cost-Benefit Analysis strategies. Paradoxical Cost Benefit Analysis.
  • Cognitive Therapy in Practice - 3. Detachment-based strategies. The acceptance of negative thinking. Identifying sources of negative beliefs. Triangulation strategies to reduce the potency of negative thinking. The Pie Chart Technique.
  • Cognitive Therapy and Emotional Experience. The role of the secondary appraisal (the appraisal of our initial emotional reactions to events) in the creation of distress. Emotional intolerance as a risk factor for anxiety and depression. The core ideas of Acceptance and Commitment therapy.
  • Emotional Intelligence. Anticipatory, experiential, and retrospective emotion as guides to behaviour. Learning from emotions without obeying or ignoring them. Using past emotional experience to build distress tolerance. Identification of the function of negative emotional states.
  • Mindfulness with and without Meditation. The basics of mindfulness meditation. The attentional field and its allocation to past, present, and future. Defining mindfulness for clients. Identifying activities in the client’s existing repertoire that promote mindfulness.

The Role of Meaning in Mood Disorders

Evidence-based psychotherapy often bypasses issues of meaning in life. This one-day program invites participants to explore meaningful events and activities in their own lives. We discuss the importance of loss of meaning as cause and symptom of mood disorders. Models of meaning - is meaning inherent and waiting to be discovered, or is it created by the individual? The Eulogy Exercise: What would you want to hear said about your life? Distinguishing between societal dictates about what should be meaningful, and personal convictions about what is experienced as meaningful. When to place meaning-based interventions in the sequence of therapy. How to explore meaning with patients without imposing our own views. Integrating meaning into day to day life. Extracting meaning from difficult experience.

This program is quite experiential, and invites participants to consider their own ideas about and experience of meaning. Participants should leave with a clearer sense of the meaning in their lives, and with a plan to cultivate the sense of meaning further. Several measures are introduced, and participants receive pdf copies of these to use with their own clients.

The Specific Nonspecific Factors in Therapy

Research continues to show that while certain models of psychotherapy appear to have particular utility with certain populations, much of the therapeutic effect seems to be transtheoretical. That is to say, clients often seem to improve regardless of the model used, provided they are working with a competent and caring therapist. We say that these effects are nonspecific, which makes them sound vague - but actually means they are not tied to a specific model.

It is tempting to dismiss nonspecific effects as the product of nothing more than expectancy, or as a type of nonpharmacological placebo effect. But in recent years much research has examined these so-called nonspecific factors and have found that many of them are, in fact, quite specific - that is to say, definable and trainable.

This one-day workshop examines the literature on nonspecific factors and provides concrete guidelines for enhancing therapeutic effectiveness. From how to greet the client in the waiting room to asking for feedback at the end of the session, from strategies to invite the client into therapy to ways of creating a safe “container” for the work - there are concrete strategies that can be learned and implemented. Participants will leave with a set of notes on the ideas covered, without the vagueness that characterizes much discussion of therapeutic potency.

Charting Your Course: Clinicians’ Edition

A full-day workshop for healthcare professionals that ignores the client/patient altogether. This program is on developing a personal vision of a fulfilling life. We discuss the idea of balance between the realms of a person’s life, and conduct self-surveys on which areas are doing well and which ones need work. In small group exercises participants what they want, what they spend their lives actually doing, what they would like to be doing instead, and how to bridge the difference.

Along the way we talk about strategies for effective goal setting, the middle path between dead-set determination and moment to moment distractibility, the danger signs of burnout in the helping professions, and the role of chance in creating a better life.

How to register

These workshops are designed to be sponsored by specific agencies or groups. Click here for information on sponsoring a workshop on this topic in your agency or region, or call us at 604 871 0490 .
or email

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