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The Art of the First Session

  • Friday, February 12, 2021
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Online ZOOM
  • 19

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Presenter: Robert Taibbi

Category 1 | 2 CEUs 

While the average length of clinical treatment is 5-8 sessions, most clients seeking therapy come to a particular therapist only once. Having the right diagnosis and effective treatment approach can mean next to nothing if you fail to connect with the client. The pressure is on in that first session. Clients need to leave believing that this is the Right Place and the Right Person. And you’ve got to do it all in 60 minutes or less.

In this webinar we will discuss the essential art of the first session. Drawing on the lessons of sales and with an awareness of clients’ ever-more discerning expectations, we’ll walk through the first session goals and process. We look at ways of changing the emotional climate so that clients feel differently when they walk out than when they walked in. We’ll define the critical skill sets you need to stay focused. We’ll walk through the three parts of the session – the opening, your assessment, the presentation of your treatment plan and next steps. You’ll learn how to handle objections, how to use treatment maps to hit the ground running, how to achieve balance with couples and families, how to recognize and use transference cues with individuals.

You’ll learn what to do, but probably more importantly what not to do in order to make that first session the best it can be.

Audience -- therapists of all disciplines

Workshop Objectives:

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Define 4 ways of changing the emotional climate.
  2. Describe the process for countering objections.
  3. Discuss the 7 goals of the first session.
  4. Define the 4 sources of resistance.
  5. Describe 5 ways of building rapport.

About the Presenter: 

Robert Taibbi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 46-years of experience primarily in community mental health working with children, couples, and families as a clinician, supervisor, and clinical director.

He is the author of 11 books in the areas of anxiety, family and couple therapy, brief therapy, clinical supervision, including Art of the First Session as well as over 300 magazine and journal articles. He also writes an online column for Psychology Today entitled Fixing Families that has received over 12 million hits.

In addition, Robert provides training both nationally and internationally in couple therapy, family therapy, brief therapy, and clinical supervision. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina and has served as an adjunct professor at several universities. He is currently in private practice in Charlottesville, VA.


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