Structuring EBP Sessions Resources

One of the hallmarks of Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) is session structure. Structuring sessions makes efficient use of time, ensures that goals are addressed in each session, helps link sessions together, and instills hope that problems can be addressed in a systematic manner. Some common session elements can include:

  • Brief Mood Check
  • Bridge from Previous Session
  • Agenda Setting
  • Review of Homework
  • Discussion of Agenda Items
  • Periodic Summaries
  • Homework Assignment
  • Final Summary and Feedback

It’s also important to note that any one EBP session may not follow this precise structure as crises or other important clinical issues come up. Even though structure is important, don’t forget the therapeutic relationship, as most EBPs encompass a fundamentally collaborative enterprise between the patient and the provider.

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Agenda Setting
This video features an example of agenda setting with a patient.

Treatment Rationale
This video demonstrates the rationale for treatment, followed by identification of the index trauma during the trauma discussion.

Blog: The Treatment Rationale - Blueprints of Psychotherapy

Introducing a Patient to PE and CPT (extended)
Presenting a balanced description of each treatment will help your client to make an informed decision that aligns with their unique goals and preferences for treatment. This video provides an example of concise descriptions of the rationale, main interventions, and key differences between CPT and PE.

This videos is an example of an abbreviated discussion that may occur at the end of a treatment planning session.

Providers of EBP sometimes find it difficult to deliver a treatment rationale in a way that feels authentic and promotes patient-buy in. In this roundtable discussion, CDP faculty members discuss common challenges in delivering a treatment rationale and tips to overcome them.

Using the PCL-5 in Treatment for PTSD
This video features a therapist using the PCL-5 to address an unidentified stuck point that may be contributing to ongoing symptoms, to differentiate between symptoms of PTSD and general symptoms of distress, and to highlight significant improvement in symptoms during the course of CPT.

Brief Mood Check
This video is an example of a straight-forward mood check. 

This video is an example of how to assign homework. In this case, the therapist is specifically asking the patient to engage in activity monitoring between sessions.

In this video, the patient works with the therapist to problem solve adherence challenges, specifically getting out of bed once awake in the morning.

Self-report measures can be a useful component to support the delivery of EBPs. However, patients and clinicians often report challenges in completing and scoring self-reports. In this roundtable discussion, CDP faculty members share benefits of self-reports and practical tips for using them.