This Friday and Saturday, I will be presenting at the Therapy Reimagined conference in Los Angeles. It’s a different kind of conference from any I’ve spoken at before, and I can’t wait. You should be there.
Different by design
Academic and professional conferences tend to focus on research and clinical application. Those are obviously critically important for keeping your practice up to date. But those conferences don’t tend to talk broadly about what it means to work in mental health. In other words, most conferences are more about doing therapy, and less about being a therapist.
At other conferences, I rarely hear a word challenging the orthodoxy that blames therapists for systemic failures in mental health treatment, or allows for the exploitation of therapists new to the field. There are some presentations at almost every conference that advocate for you to define yourself based on theoretical models, and ignore the importance of defining what makes you unique as a therapist. But you’ll find those usually-unspoken ideas all over Therapy Reimagined. That includes with my own talks: Friday morning (in a brief “thought bubble” presentation), Saturday morning (breakout with Fletcher Dennison, talking about building client relationships through better workflows — that one’s sexier than it sounds), and Saturday midday (keynote on Saving Psychotherapy).
At Therapy Reimagined, you’ll hear themes about the integration of technology, advocacy, diversity, and deliberate practice into clinical work. These all can make us not just more effective clinicians, but also more fulfilled throughout our careers. And they simply aren’t headlining themes at most conferences.
One of the great disappointments of last year’s Evolution of Psychotherapy conference was its lack of, well, evolution. Most of the speakers the same as those who had been at the prior Evolution conference in 2013. They were saying largely the same things. They were almost all white, and about two-thirds were men.
Our profession is much more dynamic than that, and its evolution is being driven less and less by old white dudes. That’s why it’s so refreshing to look over the speaker list for Therapy Reimagined. At a glance, it looks like about two-thirds of the presenters are women, and almost 30% are people of color. I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been to one where the presenters are so diverse.
I’m proud to say that I know some of the presenters personally. I know they’re kind, knowledgeable, fun people who are eager to make psychotherapy an amazing and rewarding profession, both in general and for you personally. It may sound strange, but one of the things I’m most excited about is the energy of this thing. I fully expect to end Saturday inspired in my own work as a result. I hope to see you there!
Tickets are still available if you would like to attend one or both days.
Disclosures: Ben Caldwell Labs is a conference sponsor. We have also sponsored some episodes of the Modern Therapist Survival Guide podcast, which is run by the same folks as the conference. Therapy Reimagined has not paid for this post.