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by John W. Ludgate
by John W. Ludgate

Heal Your Self: A CBT Approach to Reducing Therapist Distress & Increasing Therapist Effectiveness

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• 2012  94pp paperback   ISBN: 9781568871271

"In the event of cabin depressurization, airline flight attendants instruct us to place the oxygen masks on ourselves first before assisting our young children.  Taking care of ourselves is vital to helping others.  Dr. John Ludgate teaches us just how to take care of ourselves in this outstanding little book, Heal Your Self.  This is a wonderful guide for developing skills to detect and to deal with daily emotional challenges of being a psychotherapist.  I read this book once and I will surely read it again and again.  This is a must read for all psychotherapists."
     -Frank M. Dattilio, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA: Co-author of Cognitive Therapy With Couples

"Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported treatment for almost every psychological disorder and its principles have been applied to a diverse range of problems and situations.  Based on a model of coping, mental health providers teach patients how to more effectively cope.  In Dr. John Ludgate's book, Heal Your Self, he has creatively applied the principles of CBT to help therapists cope more successfully with their own work related stress.  His wise and practical guide equips mental health professionals to recognize, address, and free themselves of unnecessary distress.  Dr. Ludgate immediately engages the reader by using his own personal illustrations as well as helpful examples of other professionals.  This book is an invaluable tool for every mental health provider."
     -Leslie Sokol, PhD, Co-author of Think Confident, Be Confident; Past President, Credentialing Chair: Academy of Cognitive Therapy

Table of Contents

The Extent of the Problem / Signs of Possible Stress/Burnout in Mental Health Practitioners
A Cognitive Behavioral Model of Distress in Therapists
Trigger Situations / Background Stressors / Beliefs / Cognitive Distortions / Automatic Thoughts / Emotional and Behavioral Reactions / Examples of Therapist Reactions
Conceptualization of Distress in Mental Health Providers
Client-related Stressors / Nonclient Work Stressors / Personal Characteristics of Therapists / Belief Systems of Therapists / Coping Strategies / Nonwork Stressors / Training Inadequacies / Lack of Organizational Support
CBT Strategies to Reduce Therapist Distress
General Guidelines for Therapists Who Work With Challenging Cases
Specific CBT Interventions
Recognizing Early Warning Signals (Personal Indicators of Distress (Form) / Identifying Characteristic Stressors / What Are Some Stressors / Triggers That Stress/Distress Me in the Workplace? (Form) / Identifying Dysfunctional Thinking / Identifying Thoughts (Form) / Identifying the Effects of Thinking / Analyzing the Effects of Thoughts/Beliefs (Form) / Identifying Distortions / Cognitive Distortions (Nine Ways to Make Yourself Miserable) (Form) / Recognizing Distortions in Thinking (Form) / Testing the Evidence / Reviewing the Evidence (Form) / Generating Alternative Viewpoints / Generating Alternatives (Form) / Decatastrophizing and De-awfulizing / Decatastrophizing (Form) / Putting It All Together (ADAPT) / ADAPT Questionnaire (Form) / General Guidelines for Distress Reduction in the Workplace / A Final Word

CE Program
A supplemental 4-credit, 40 question continuing education program is available for this book.  To order the complete program (this book and the CE test module, or test module alone if you already have access to this book), go to: Heal Your Self: A CBT Approach to Reducing Therapist Distress & Increasing Therapist Effectiveness - CE Program (4 Credits)

For information about our approved continuing education sponsorships
and acceptance by state boards, go to:
Continuing Education

About the Author
John W. Ludgate, PhD, completed his clinical psychology training at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1976.  After receiving his doctorate from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, he earned a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1986, he became the Assistant Director of Training at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia, a position he held for 2 years.  Dr. Ludgate was appointed Research Clinical Psychologist in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the University of Oxford (England) in 1992, serving until 1994.  He has published a number of articles and book chapters on cognitive therapy and, with Dr. Aaron Beck, co-authored a book on inpatient cognitive therapy in 1992.  Dr. Ludgate currently works at the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Center of Western North Carolina in Asheville, North Carolina.  The author presents seminars and workshops on both national and international conferences as well as co-directing an intensive 6-month Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Training course in Asheville, North Carolina.  Dr. Ludgate can be reached through his website at:

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