What Makes Psychotherapists Great? Is Greatness Teachable?

My Stanford University colleague Matt May MD and I recently took up these two questions while reviewing our last six years teaching therapists in our weekly online training group. Hundreds of colleagues have passed through our program and 16 of them are now leading groups of their own. Matt and I invite you to sit in on our conversation about what lies at the heart of learning and delivering great psychotherapy.

About Daniel Mintie

Daniel Mintie is a cogntive behavioral therapist with 28 years' experience treating PTSD. He teaches CBT at universities and training centers worldwide.

Reader Interactions


  1. Leigh Harrington says

    Awesome, warm and wise! So nice to get to hang out with the two of you in
    Thursday group and here in this conversation.
    I agree that when I’m in Thursday group, it’s a highlight of my week!
    I can’t tell you how much I value being a part of the Thursday family.
    Thank you for co-creating and sustaining this special place in the world.

    Some notes from this conversation that stuck out to me…

    Daniel: sometimes the change in a word can make the difference between something lighting up and not lighting up at all.
    Matt: People who are actively seeking out how to be better… they are the best therapists.
    Ideal student = curious – “what are you seeing that I am not seeing?”
    The symptom is also the solution. Symptom as solution – enables us to offer authentic empathy.
    1:03-ish – Niceness. Daniel offers Breaking Bad training in NM!
    Hold feet to fire while respecting dignity.
    Overcoming niceness: I cannot help someone with relationship if they will not let o of blame. I can’t help someone with hopelessness if they are not willing to run behavioral experiments. I can’t help someone with worthlessness if they will not let go of their high standards for themselves. Have to hold my patients accountable – practice a lot (paper, role plays)
    We are offering a laboratory, consequence free environment to fail a lot. Makes a huge difference in treatment outcomes.

    A teacher is only as good as their students. A therapist is only as good as their patients.

    We all come along together or we don’t come along.

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