Frequently, psychiatrist, psychologists and counselors are exposed to “models” for clinical work, set protocols based on singular theories. But empirical evidence strongly suggests that, outside of select disorders such as anxiety or depression, models produce relatively modest outcomes for clients. Part of this poor prognosis from singular approaches may be just a narrowing of both skills and focus on the part of psychological clinicians, but more likely contributing factors may dull the clinical session so that clinicians pay more attention to what they are “supposed” to do rather than seeking deeper insights, working intuitively based on those insights, and in the process losing creativity.
But increasingly, integrated therapy has begun to improve outcomes from psychological counseling as it becomes more sophisticated. Research consistently shows evidence of dramatic improvement in prognosis for clients who attend psychotherapy with clinicians who have integrated several theory bases into their session. Integrated therapy requires a clear understanding of theoretic conceptualizations of client attitudes and issues beyond mere diagnosis, a wealth of skills sets acquired from study and practice of multiple theories and increased intuitive response to the expressions the client offers as clues to attitudes and deeper issues. Research also suggests that client responses to integrated theory deal with deeper problems than those presented, including personality and temperament.
Professor Emeritus Louis Downs, PhD, who has practiced integrated therapy since the early 1990s as well as taught and supervised counseling psychology students and clinicians the art of integrated therapy since 1995, will bring his extensive experience to InPsych’s workshop with seasoned professionals in psychology and counseling. After a philosophical and clinical orientation to the breadth and skills of integrated therapy, Dr. Downs will open an extensive discussion with participants about the use in practice of the varied skills used for integrated therapy.
Participants should come prepared with memory of sessions with clients that were difficult and be prepared not to do case presentations but to discuss the dynamics of those sessions; they should also be prepared to role play their clients whenever it is important to model the intuitive skill sets in action. Participants can expect to take a more refined and functional understanding with them at the end of the workshop, with accompanying insights into different ways to focus a therapeutic conversation beyond the initial presentation by their clients.
Professor Emeritus Louis Downs, PhD, began his career in Counselling. After receiving his Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology, he took his place as a psychotherapist in the mental health community specializing in childhood disorders, adult phobia and anxiety, substance abuse, and working within the legal system with prison parolees and probationers.
Realizing the need for skills beyond what academia provided, he studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under Dr. Donald Meichenbaum, Gestalt Therapy under Dr. Erving Pollster, Reality Therapy under Dr. William Glaser, Solution Focused therapy under Bill O’Hanlon, Dissociative Disorder Therapy under Dr. Richard Kluft, and received his certificate in hypnosis from the Milton Erickson Institute. He was also certified as a transactional analysis therapist, a play and sand therapist, was certified as an adventure-based counselor, and was certified by the Red Cross as an emergency mental health specialist.
During his studies to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Counseling Psychology, he was introduced to the new field of Integrated Therapy: an approach that empirical studies was revealing significantly more effective and long-lasting outcomes than single model therapies. For the past 23 years of a 39-year career in counseling and psychotherapy, Prof Downs has applied, taught, and clinically supervised integrated therapeutic techniques. He brings his extensive experience and expertise to professional counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in Southeast Asia to enhance their own clinical effectiveness.