Pre-Congress workshops

August 22, 2018
09:00 – 17:00

Michael D. Yapko, PhD

Bad Decisions Make People’s Lives Worse: Using Hypnosis to Address Cognitive Style and Improve Decision Making Processes

Cognitive psychology, the study of how people think, has given rise to new understandings about how people gather and use information. This includes how people decide, usually at a level outside of awareness, what is salient to pay attention to in a given environment and, likewise, what is essentially irrelevant. When people get sidetracked into irrelevancy, paying too much attention to what doesn’t really matter and too little attention to what does, their perceptions and responses naturally lead them astray. More important, when someone’s perspective is so global or over-general that he or she simply doesn’t know how or what to decide, he or she is far more likely to make poor decisions on the basis of hurt feelings, old history, misconceptions, or blind faith. There are many different ways of making key life decisions, and when one employs an ineffective one, the results can be enduringly painful.

 In this workshop based on Dr. Yapko’s newest book, The Discriminating Therapist: Asking “How” Questions, Making Distinctions, and Finding Direction in Therapy, we will look at people through the lens of cognitive style and HOW they make the choices they make. We will especially focus on what they failed to either notice or discriminate in their global response to some circumstance. From this gentler perspective, we can focus on the roles of missing skills or incorrect information relevant to making better decisions instead of simply pathologizing people. Through carefully constructed “how” questions that reveal the client’s ineffective decision-making framework, the goals of therapy quickly become clearer and the likelihood of hitting well defined therapy targets increases. The merits of hypnosis as a vehicle of delivering these well-targeted interventions will be considered in detail.

Some of the topics to be covered:

Cognitive neuroscience illuminates cognitive style
Global cognition as a determinant of client symptom profiles
How the therapist’s cognitive style shapes his or her treatments

Shifting the focus of the clinical interview
Watching the “how” question in action: Case vignettes
Content and process in assessment
Defining the goals of treatment in process terms
Hypnosis as a vehicle of teaching discriminations and decision making



Activity recognized by Ordre des psychologues du Québec Recognition number: RE02494-18 (6 hours)

For questions regarding registration, please reach out to 
Carole Laflamme
+1 450-550-3488 ext. 114