Improving Therapy Outcomes by Using the Clinical Relationship

October 27, 2017 | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

NYU Meyer Hall
4 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003


The therapist-patient relationship has long been considered both an important crucible for clinical work and a significant determinant of treatment outcome, a belief that has been validated by psychotherapy research (e.g., Horvath, 2001). We now have a long tradition of thinking about the therapeutic relationship, from the earliest days of psychoanalysis, which has a long history of organizing treatment around the transference-countertransference relationship to cutting edge work in the use of the relationship by behavioral therapists. Utilizing current information about diverse elements of language-based and non-verbal communication, attachment history and more, we now have powerful frameworks for thinking about how to work within the relationship actively and effectively.

Learners who participate in this workshop will have an opportunity to learn and practice ways to harness the power of the therapeutic relationship. Providing a context for this work by examining the shared intersection of psychoanalytic and behavioral theory and research into working with the relationship, the trainers will present cases from their clinical practices that demonstrate how to conceptualize and work with transference-countertransference material. After learning about relational interventions, learners will get an opportunity to practice thinking through transference-countertransference problems in their own cases in order to develop ways to address them directly with their patients.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to:  
  • Contextualize relational work in both analytic and cognitive behavioral traditions
  • Gain knowledge and practice regarding relational interventions
  • Apply knowledge and interventions learned to their own current clinical practice, and work in dyads to practice application

Tentative Program Schedule

This schedule is subject to change.
9:00 - 9:15 am Check In/ Intro
9:15 - 9:30 am Why the relationship? – History and Research

9:30 - 11:00 am Contextualizing Relational Work in the Psychoanalytic and Behavioral Worlds
11:00 - 12:00 pm Lunch 
12:00 - 2:00 pm Two Case Presentations, each with Demonstrated Enactments
2:00 - 2:50 pm Specific Interventions and Vignettes
2:50 - 3:00


3:00 - 3:45 pm Experiential exercises to apply concepts and strategies to current cases” – Extended exercise in which presenters guide learners through an eyes-closed exercise focusing on a particular patient. Learners explore the cross section of patient and therapist learning histories and identify avoidance in the relationship. Learners share their experiences and insights with a partner, then with the larger group.
3:45 - 4:00 pm Debrief and Summarization 



Jill Bresler, PhD

Jill Bresler, Ph.D. is the co-editor of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Integration: An Evolving Synergy (2015). She is Adjunct Clinical Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and Co-Director of NIP's Psychotherapy Integration Program. With extensive postdoctoral training as a cognitive therapist and as a psychoanalyst, Jill writes, supervises and teaches about the integration of these two models. She maintains a private practice in New York City.



Brian Mundy, LCSW-R

Brian Mundy, LCSW-R practices individual, couples, and family behavioral therapy in private practice, and is the recipient of the National Association of Social Workers - NYC Emerging Leader Award. He is a co-author of the Guilford Press book, Therapy in the Real World, and has authored peer-reviewed chapters and articles on trauma, family therapy, and acceptance commitment therapy. He is a professional trainer and consultant for Sound Behavioral Health, and an adjunct professor at New York University School of Social Work in Manhattan.