Review by Patricia Allison, LMFT

This is a review of our recent presentation of the Control Mastery Theory by Susan Landes, PsyD, LMFT and Michael Bader, DMH, on Saturday, July 18, 2015


July 2015 Presentation Summary

Control Mastery Theory

Presenters: Susan Landes, PsyD, LMFT and Michael Bader, DMH

The Sierra Foothills CAMFT training in July focused on Control Mastery Theory, which has a background in psychoanalytic theory.  Our presenters emphasized concepts including: clients have the ability to exercise control over their lives, and are motivated to make changes and improve.

Developmentally, children have a desire to get along with their caregivers and are powerfully motivated to adapt in order to feel safe and attached.  In this process, children sometimes draw irrational conclusions which are called pathogenic beliefs.  The cognitive and affective approach in Control Mastery Theory is based on forming a relationship with the counselor where a client can test these beliefs and experience a different response.  Having a new, corrective experience can lead to freedom to act differently in the future. One of the ways to determine if the test is passed is a client sharing new material and feeling safe.

Important dynamics of Control Mastery Theory are: providing client-specific treatment, and full, authentic engagement.  The end of the presentation illustrated the importance of reorganizing a trauma story to gain new understanding and corrective relationship experiences, which has the potential to lessen pathogenic beliefs.

Thank you to our presenters for an insightful training!

~ Patricia Allison, LMFT


Thank you Patricia for this wonderful review!

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