Transitional Independent Living


New Directions Clinical Staff Bolsters Knowledge with CBT Training

Building Skills and Knowledge

“A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish” is the New Directions motto, and recently, clinical staff had a training in an area of therapy that is highly goal-oriented: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  Dr. Rodney J. Benson, Ph.D, ACT, the trainer, is the Executive Director of the Depression and Anxiety Specialty Clinic of Chicago.  Both depression and anxiety are conditions that many New Directions students experience.

A Therapy Trend

CBT has become a popular method of psychotherapy due to its structured sessions, focus on the present, and empirical support.  The aim is to make the client “be their own therapist.”   CBT primarily focuses on emotions, and utilizes a three-component model of emotions. The model links the patient’s physiological state, cognitions, and behaviors.  For example, a person who feels insulted may become red in the face and appear angry, and then begin shouting.  Above all, CBT aims to reduce troublesome events by promoting flexibility in these domains.

Values Guide Change

The goal-setting aspect closely aligns with the values of the client.  With their therapist’s guidance, a client will establish the what the client values, identify an area that they feel needs changing, and embark on setting meaningful, realistic goals that are based on their values.  These goals range from immediate ones, such as finding ways to manage anger outbursts, to long-term ones that extend from months to years in the future.  As the client works towards the goals, they have a therapist to assist when they struggle.

A Successful Training

Both Florida and California New Directions staff attended the training.  Jana Corral, the CA Clinical and Managing Director, said “Our recent clinical training with Dr. Rodney Benson was incredibly informative and relevant to the population we support here at New Directions. His presentation resonated with our clinicians, and they walked away with practical CBT interventions they could readily implement into their clients’ treatment.”

New Directions for Young Adults is always seeking new interventions to integrate into Direction Therapy CMT (Coordinated Multidisciplinary Treatment.), and this training was a welcome one.  To read more about Direction Therapy CMT or schedule a tour, click here.

For more information on Dr. Benson’s practice at the Depression and Anxiety Specialty Clinic of Chicago, click here.

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