Intro to Psychotherapy

greatsurg

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I will be starting residency next month. I have little experience in psychotherapy. Any advice on how I can get to learn the basics. Any input will be appreciated.

any other advice on what to do prior to residency like books to read etc
 
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birchswing

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Someone who is a medical professional (I am not) can chime in on whether this would be good, bad, or neither to watch for your purposes: the TV show called In Treatment. It's on Amazon Prime and probably some other services. It's dramatic of course, but I found it to be the most similar to what I've experienced in therapy.

I read Feeling Good back in middle school (that was I guess the early 90s). I can't really remember it well (though I do remember the principles of cognitive therapy). Then later read How To Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything, Yes, Anything by Albert Ellis. I guess I went for whatever my library had. Albert Ellis' ideas were not called CBT, but it was similar. He was a bit more extreme. I remember he said no situation was hopeless because even if (and I can't remember what . . . but it was the worst of the worst pain or something), you could always commit suicide thus proving there is always a solution. Was a bit startling to read. He also wrote against homosexuality which was not helpful at the time. That book was definitely more memorable, maybe not for great reasons. Oh, he also referred to "should" or "must" thinking as musturbation. That was amusing at the time.

Edit: Dear God, I just looked him up and Albert Ellis is still alive. I felt like I was reading the works of a relic in the 1990s. Interesting.

Edit 2: If you want a more sanitized peek into therapy in the form of a television show, The Bob Newhart Show is pretty good IMO. His group therapy sessions are actually not *that* far off from things I've experienced. They have a bit of the encounter group vibe as well, and I'm not sure that's used much anymore (see the series finale of Mad Men for a good depiction of an encounter group).
 
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WisNeuro

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Oops . . . I misread the Wiki box on him. That's rather embarrassing to write, as it does quite clearly say he died in 2007. All the same, I did misread it.

Happens, also, his views on homosexuality were a bit more nuanced, and also definitely evolved over time. Definitely kind of an dingus in terms of first impressions, but he grows on you over time. A delight to talk to over dinner and wine.
 

WisNeuro

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Oh, wow, you met Albert Ellis? Were you under his tutelage?

I did not train under him, a tad young for that. A family member of mine was Ellis trained, so we were invited to many of the events at the Brownstone. Including the 90th Bday bash.
 
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birchswing

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I did not train under him, a tad young for that. A family member of mine was Ellis trained, so we were invited to many of the events at the Brownstone. Including the 90th Bday bash.
I just think that's the tops that you got to know him. I don't know what Brownstone is or anything, but it all sounds so fancy. Like a Great Gatsby type thing but without all the tragedy. Now that I have written to someone who knew him, I have this odd feeling now that what I wrote may have been brash or reductive, but I can say this: Out of all the things I read from that period of my life, he certainly left a memorable impression. As I said, I don't really remember the Feeling Good book. But I do remember the one about musturbation!
 

WisNeuro

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I just think that's the tops that you got to know him. I don't know what Brownstone is or anything, but it all sounds so fancy. Like a Great Gatsby type thing but without all the tragedy. Now that I have written to someone who knew him, I have this odd feeling now that what I wrote may have been brash or reductive, but I can say this: Out of all the things I read from that period of my life, he certainly left a memorable impression. As I said, I don't really remember the Feeling Good book. But I do remember the one about musturbation!

It was the location of his institute. No worries, we all think in reductive terms of many of the big names because we only knew most of them through some of their writing. We're all fairly one-dimensional when people only know our work history. I wouldn't call myself a RET adherent, but there are definitely big parts of his theories that I still use in therapy.
 
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