Ben is an old friend and a brilliant psychodynamic therapist with a different take on CBT than my previous guest Dr. Ricks Warren and a lot of hope for the future of clinical psych. Ben and I also get into the weeds to bust up the patient on the couch myth.
Ben Weiss is a practicing clinical social worker in Massachusetts. He holds a masters degree from the Smith College School for Social Work and completed a two-year advanced fellowship in psychodynamic therapy at Harvard Medical School in 2012. Then in 2013, he received a certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from Boston University.
Ben is a good friend and had a bit of a bone to pick with Ricks Warrens’ (episode 3) claim that CBT is the most effective form of therapy. Ben describes the two major schools of western psychological theory and our conversation quickly travels into the uncharted territory of psychoanalytic therapy—what it is, who it helps, and who it doesn’t help.
We wrapped up by talking about the future of mental health and what it will take to make all forms of therapy more accessible to more people, as well as how to find a good therapist.
While it does seem that Ben and Ricks have come to different conclusions regarding the efficacy of CBT as a standalone method, I should say that I approached Ricks to talk specifically about CBT. He has since clarified that his clinical approach typically includes a broader survey of patient needs and their best-matched therapeutic modalities.
You can listen to the episode below, or at the links provided. Cheers!
People, resources and links from this episode
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond by Judith S. Beck
- “That Was Then, This is Now: An Introduction to Contemporary Psychodynamic Therapy” by Jonathan Shedler, PhD
- Ben’s website benweisslicsw.com
Featured art is titled Self Reflection by John Clang. On his website, John writes:
Whenever I visited the zoo as a child, the experience was always a joyful one. The animals looked beautiful and happy. But as an adult revisiting the zoo, the experience changed. I see sadness and loneliness in these animals. They look trapped in their confinement. Living each day like a routine.
In comparison, I appreciate my world for its freedom and its constant changes. Why has my perception changed? I am probably seeing a reflection of myself in these animals. As I age, I see the world around me a little differently. Am I truly living my life to the fullest? Or am I living a similarly confined life like these animals, “performing” to the daily expectations of our society?