Alexandre Vaz

Fail again, fail better: achieving psychotherapy expertise through deliberate practice


This workshop will review the concept and relevant literature on deliberate practice
as applied to psychotherapy (Rousmaniere, Goodyear, Miller, & Wampold,
2017). Attendees will learn ways to start developing their own deliberate
practice routine, and how this topic is related to the achievement of superior
clinical outcomes.


Therapists vary significantly in their clinical effectiveness, independent of their age,
sex, theoretical orientation and years of experience (Baldwin et al., 2013). To
help explain this, the science and study of expertise (Ericsson et al., 1993)
has caught the attention of psychotherapy researchers, with recent empirical
data supporting the claim that therapists who undergo a routine of deliberate
practice seem to achieve better outcomes (Chow et al., 2015; Goldberg et al.,
2016). This workshop will show examples of how deliberate practice might be
applied to psychotherapeutic practice. The second half of this workshop will be
experiencial, using video stimulus to invite therapists to join in short
deliberate practice exercises.


By the end of this workshop, attendees should: (1) know what deliberate practice
is; (2) know the research behind it and how it applies to psychotherapy; (3)
know introductory means to start doing deliberate practice in their own
professional life.