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  • Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT) Consultation: Facilitating Response to CBT - Part II.

Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT) Consultation: Facilitating Response to CBT - Part II.

  • 12/11/2022
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Virtual


  • Includes 2 CE Credits
  • Advanced Graduate student trainees who are members are invited to register - if not yet a member become one before registration. This level of registration does not include CE credits
  • Includes 2 CE Credits: Consider first becoming PBTA member & then registering in order to access the benefit of FREE REGISTRATION & free CE offered to current members

Registration is closed

Maladaptive relationship patterns that are learned in early attachment relationships can be replicated with others in adulthood in many forms conceptualized by the Structural Analysis of Social Behaviors (SASB: Benjamin et al., 2006). Such patterns, referred to as “copy process” in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT, Benjamin, 2003/2006; 2018), can provide barriers to response in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Both overt and covert behaviors can be identified through SASB-based assessments of relational patterns and targeted with IRT procedures. This can guide therapist and client in facilitating attainment of treatment goals in CBT. Such response depends upon identification of the conditioning history that reinforces maladaptive and recurrent patterns of relating with self and others. Briefly, in IRT, views of self and others are understood to reflect rules, values, and experiences internalized in close attachment relationships. A case formulation (CF) guides intervention choices by clarifying links between presenting symptoms and learning that occurred in those relationships. The “gift of love” (GOL) hypothesis is that wishes to receive love and acceptance from specific internalized attachment figures, or learned ways to obtain reinforcement, shape problem patterns and associated symptoms. Clinical problems thus reflect, and are maintained by, desires for love and acceptance from cognitive representations of “family in the head.” Ultimately, IRT seeks to help patients become aware of copied interpersonal and intrapsychic patterns, and the role they play in maintaining connection with internalized attachment figures. From there, the goal is to help a patient differentiate from the “family in the head” and pursue healthy behaviors and self-concepts. With awareness comes the possibility to let go of problematic quests for love and acceptance from internalized loved ones and instead to choose healthy alternatives. The IRT treatment paradigm is grounded in and integrates the seminal work of Bowlby, Harlow, Graham, Rogers and others. IRT theory frames optimal intervention in terms of a “core algorithm” and five therapeutic “steps” keyed to the individual CF. This workshop describes IRT theory and method, from conceptualization to treatment, and includes guidance in developing a basic IRT case formulation with a focus on the GOL as a mechanism of psychopathology and change. NOTE: Part II is an intermediate level follow-up CE event to the  11/12/2022 training - attendees who missed it are welcome but it is especially important that they complete the required reading (CTRL click on link to download) - citation below - in advance. Dr. Critchfield will respond to questions regarding SASB and the implementation of IRT to specific challenging cases for which CBT has not supported attainment of treatment goals. 

CE Learning Objectives

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) relational dimensions at a basic level with reference to copy process theory
  2. Apply the SASB-based IRT approach to case conceptualization to two specific cases non-responsive to CBT alone.
  3. Describe a specific example framing CBT in terms of differentiation from “family in the head” facilitated response for a client previously considered "stuck" or non-responsive with a CBT-only case formulation.

Required Reading (click reference below to download):

Critchfield, K. L., Panizo, M. T., & Benjamin, L. S. (2019). Formulating key psychosocial mechanisms of psychopathology and change in interpersonal reconstructive therapy. In Case formulation for personality disorders (pp. 181-201). Academic Press.

About Presenter

Ken Critchfield, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor and Program Director of the Clinical Psychology Program of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Dr. Critchfield’s research, teaching and clinical work all emphasize interpersonal and attachment-based principles of change implemented in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT: Benjamin, 2003; 2018). IRT is an integrative, psychosocial treatment that uses an attachment-based case formulation to tailor treatment for patients having severe and chronic problems characterized comorbid depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and/or chronic suicidality, often accompanied by personality disorder. Dr. Critchfield earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Utah in 2002, with an internship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and post-doctoral training at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He was co-director of the IRT clinic at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute and was most recently directed the Combined-Integrated Clinical and School Psychology program at James Madison University. Dr. Critchfield is a Fellow of APA’s Society for Advancement of Psychotherapy (Div. 29). He has held leadership roles with the Society for Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI), and has long been a member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). He maintains a psychotherapy practice and frequently consults on issues of methodology, design, and analysis for work at the interface between interpersonal measurement (especially Structural Analysis of Social Behavior), personality, and psychopathology.

Target Audience

This presentation is intended for licensed mental health professionals and advanced graduate student trainees seeking licensure and with some clinical experience. The instructional level of this presentation is INTERMEDIATE.

Continuing Education

  • Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists*. Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • This program provides two (2) hours of CE credits.
  • PBTA is also an authorized provider of CE credits for Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Full attendance with video display is required to obtain CE credit for this program. APA guidelines do not permit PBTA to issue partial CE credits. No refunds are provided for CE programs. No exceptions allowed.
  • * PBTA does not currently offer CE to practitioners licensed in the state of New York.
  • All events are Eastern Time Zone 
  • Contact if you need any learning accommodations no later than one week before event.
Recommended Readings:

Benjamin, L. S., Rothweiler, J. C., & Critchfield, K. L. (2006). The use of structural analysis of social behavior (SASB) as an assessment tool. Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol., 2, 83-109.

Critchfield, K. L., Mackaronis, J. E., & Benjamin, L. S. (2017). Integrative use of CBT and Psychodynamic techniques in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 27(4), 460-475.

Critchfield, K. L., Thapa, P., Panizo, M. T., & Conceição, N. (2022). Using interpersonal reconstructive therapy to address comorbid problems organized by attachment-based learning: The case of Don. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 78, 396– 408.

Critchfield, K. L., Mackaronis, J. E., Thapa, P., & Cechak, P. (2022). A brief overview of safety planning in interpersonal reconstructive therapy. Psychotherapy, 59(2), 168–173.

Critchfield, K. L., Benjamin, L. S., & Levenick, K. (2015). Reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of case formulations for comorbid profiles in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy: addressing mechanisms of psychopathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 29(4), 547-573. doi:

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