M002 Beyond Pills: Effective Psychotherapy With Depressive Clients

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course, M002 Beyond Pills: Effective Psychotherapy With Depressive Clients.

Beyond Pills, Session 2: Comment Board


We hope you enjoyed the second session of Michael Yapko’s Master Class Webinar, “Beyond Pills: Effective Psychotherapy with Depressive Clients.” Today’s session included a brief background on what hypnosis really is—and isn’t—and why it can be a beneficial method to help depressive clients.

We were given the opportunity to watch a clinical video presentation of Yapko with a real client who was in a major depression. “The Case of Mike” illustrates Yapko’s techniques with a client he’d never seen or spoken to before that meeting, and demonstrates the kind of experience such a client can have in a focused or hypnotic state.

Have you ever used hypnosis as part of your psychotherapy before? If so, what do you think works, or doesn’t work, well about it? What stood out for you today?

Please take a moment to share with us below what was new or most interesting, particularly about getting to experience this kind of session.

In order to create a better sense of community, we invite you to please include your name and hometown with your comment. Thank you all for your participation and inspiring thoughts and comments.

01.14.2011   Posted In: M002 Beyond Pills: Effective Psychotherapy With Depressive Clients   By Rich Simon
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    • 0 avatar Lenore Bayuk 01.15.2011 05:30
      I was unable to access the video, even w/ helpline. Very disappointing as this was a major part of session 2 and watching the process is so important.
      I will look for the transcription in the book when I get it.
      Lenore, WA.
      • 0 avatar Sheri Pate 07.06.2011 16:40
        how did you get the video to work? I'm having the same problem. Sheri
    • 0 avatar Lenore Bayuk 01.15.2011 12:48
      Lenore again--I got the video to work. Great to watch and I learned alot about use of suggestion, mirroring, encouraging. I've used imagery and relaxation techniques for years and have found it very helpful to clients--and for myself as well!
      I look forward to session 3. Thank you.
    • 0 avatar David Boudreau 01.16.2011 03:20
      As both a long-time therapist and also a person who experiences depression, I was somewhat disappointed by today's presentation. While I like the emphasis on the counsellor using suggestive language as well as some of the cognitive and even behavioural strategies mentioned by Dr Yapko, the intervention didn't strike me as anything oher than some general platitudes or affirmations given to a client who is in a relaxed state.
      Because this video is somewhat dated, I am curious as to how Dr Yapko might now do this kind of intervention. I have been particularly influenced by mindfulness meditation and MBCT so am looking forward to the next session which promises to integrate hypnosis with mindfulness-based strategies.
      Regrettably I won't be able to attend any of these sessions live but would like to hear about evidence-based research that speaks to the efficacy of hypnosis, and which strategies seem to be particularly effective, as well as how this approach compares to other psychological interventions with depression.
      I also find some of the self-promotion of books and audio materials to be a bit overdone.
      I have seen Dr Yapko in seminars a few times and believe that he is a skilled clinician. I think that so far I learned more from him in Breaking the habits of Depression.
      In my own experience, as a person who has had numerous relapses with depression, I am well aware of the biological, psychological, interpersonal and social aspects of depression. I have found that talk therapy, exercise, meditation, medication and reading/continued learning about the subject have been necessary and still I can't say that without using these many strategies in a regular way that I won't relapse. I guess that I felt that the intervention today was simplistic and somehow minimized the complexity of this phenomenon and the struggle that some people who experience depression have in getting and staying well.

      • 0 avatar Michael Matasci 01.16.2011 12:46
        Even if the interventions by Dr. Yapko were "simplistic," Mike, the client was able to incorporate some involved and fruitful concepts. For one, he was finally able to detach his past experiences and their influence, from his present way of being. That alone was significant progress, and only after one session. But his gains are seen in his interpersonal realtions. Perhaps most importantly, Mike realizes he has more control over his thoughts than he realized.

        Michael Matasci, LCSW
        Brooklyn, New York
      • 0 avatar Phil Graffunder 01.21.2011 11:04
        I agree David. Overall, I think the content has bee good and that Dr Yapko is probably a very good therapist. However, using this webinar as a type of infomercial for his books and other materials is a bit much. Please, more effective strategies and techniques, and less time trying to convince us that meds are not all that, or that depression is a bio-psycho-social problem. I think we all already know that. Each person may need more work in a particular area (behavior change, affect regulation, sensate focusing, negative thought patterns, interpersonal/social issues, medication at times), this is nothing new and too much time has been spent on those areas.
    • 0 avatar Rachel Matthews 01.17.2011 12:23
      I have seen this session with Dr. Yapko and Mike before a couple of years ago on video tape. I admit I dismissed it because I was not planning to do hypnosis as a major part of my therapeutic work. I was interested to view it this time looking at the processes more mindfully. The discussion at the end about how we offer therapeutic suggestion was the most important point for me. A relaxed state is an important part of hearing oneself as well as another as well as creating a safe container for growth happen. I look forward to next session incorporating mindfulness. - Rachel, Greenville, SC
    • 0 avatar Robert Watson 01.19.2011 11:08
      Is the video session with Dr. Yapko and Mike part of the download package for week 2? Thanks!
    • 0 avatar Jacquelyn McCrary 01.21.2011 06:32
      I have just finished watching the session 3 webinar. For some reason, there is no way to comment on that session on my laptop screen at this time, but Rich has asked us to ask questions about session 3 before session 4 occurs next week, so I am going to ask my question here. Michael discussed the sad fact that some clients become parents (without really wanting to be parents), and some find themselves in the military without really being suited for the military lifestyle. Michael also talked about the need to teach clients to do reality testing and to learn linear thinking skills (ie., specific, sequential steps to goal attainment). In the cases listed above, the client's reality is that he/she is a parent now, and or he/she is in the military. I am curious about which steps Michael would emphasize to the non-insightful, concrete client to help them find fulfillment in their situations without harming their children or spouse who may be financially dependent on them. It seems that many young people today, who didn't thrive academically in high school and didn't go to college, joined the military "just to have a steady paycheck and good benefits," without realizing what that choice really meant in the long-term. Some of them joined because they had "gotten someone pregnant" and needed to pay mandatory child support. Many of them are really not employable at an "above poverty level" of earnings in today's economy. Can you give us some ideas about how we can encourage flexibility in these kinds of individuals? Children need to be loved and cared for a minimum of 18 years. How can self-centered, depressed people who have no social skills and no desire to be parents be taught to become truly loving and effective parents in a step-by-step fashion?
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