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Beyond the Basics: Supervision, Mentorship and Fostering Clinical Wisdom


Wednesday, March 22, 2017: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM

Background: Addressing the clinical complexity of eating disorders requires both clinical skills and clinical wisdom. This workshop, through a combination of didactic material and experiential exercises, explores a model for supervision and training that fosters the development of clinical wisdom, complex case conceptualization skills, and countertransference awareness.

Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe differences between empirically supported treatments and evidence based treatments. 2. Attendees will discuss a model for complex case conceptualization and it’s application for supervision and training of new clinicians. 3. Attendees will participate in a role play to explore how supervisors and team leaders can foster the development of countertransference attunement.

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Concepts Empirically Based Treatments, Evidence Based Treatment and Clinical Wisdom
  3. Model for Complex Case Conceptualization
  4. Assessing Interpersonal Functioning
  5. Treatment Planning and Setting Clinical Priorities 
  6. How to Use this Model in Supervision
  7. Teaching Clinical Wisdom
  8. Teaching countertransference awareness 
  9. Fostering Authenticity 
  10. Teaching How and When to Self Disclose
  11. How Supervisors can “grow” good therapists
  12. Questions and Discussion

The evidence in “evidence based treatment” is built on a combination of empirical data and clinical experience. Making informed decisions about the treatment of individuals and families with eating disorders requires a solid foundation in both types of evidence. But, despite increased focus on skills-based clinical competencies rooted in CBT, FBT and IPT, the complexities of treating people with eating disorders often far outstrips our empirically based treatments. The challenge faced by individual clinicians and treatment teams, in both outpatient and intensive treatment settings, is how and when to move beyond the existing empirical treatment models.

Making these important decisions is one key element of clinical wisdom. This workshop begins with an exploration of the ways in which clinicians and their supervisors can promote the development of this decision making capability. We will describe a model for helping clinicians enhance their basic skills through complex case conceptualization, treatment planning, and treatment phasing. This model emphasizes the importance of an open-minded curiosity about the broad range of psychopathology and psychological development, including issues such as co-morbid substance abuse, trauma related issues, and anxiety disorders. This case conceptualization model is the cognitive and scientific foundation of clinical wisdom.

The other critical element of clinical wisdom is the clinician’s ability to convey complex ideas and interventions with empathy and authenticity. Fostering the capacity to engage and connect, particularly with individuals who are highly ambivalent, is an essential focus for supervision and clinical training. The second half of this workshop will focus on a model for the development of clinicians’ individual style or voice. This model addresses issues of countertransference, the judicious and planned use of self-disclosure, relational attunement, and the effective resolution of breakdowns in the therapeutic relationship. Thoughtful, focused, and planned attention to these aspects of clinical skills development can enhance motivation, decrease clinician burnout, and foster clinician confidence, humility, and effectiveness. Using didactic material, sharing and discussion of clinical and supervisory scenarios, and role plays, this workshop explores the conceptual and relational components of clinical wisdom and proposes a model for clinician education and development.

Primary Presenter:
Douglas Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS

Douglas W. Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS is the Chief Clinical Officer for the Monte Nido & Affiliates. Dr. Bunnell is a past board chair of the National Eating Disorders Association, a clinical advisor for the NEDA Navigator Program, and a recipient of NEDA’s Life Time Achievement Award. Dr. Bunnell is also a co-editor of Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Research Practice Gap.



Co-Presenter:
Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CEDS

Keesha Amezcua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. She has over 10 years of experience working in the eating disorder field and is trained in EMDR. She has worked at Monte Nido in various roles including Primary Therapist and Clinical Director, and she recently served as the Director of Residential Services. Keesha earned her bachelors degree in Journalism from Texas A&M and went on to earn her masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, she is the Vice President of Clinical Programming overseeing all Monte Nido & Affiliates programs.

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