Introduction to Control Mastery Theory

  • Date: Saturday, Jan 12th 10am- 4pm

  • Location: SFPRG 9 Funston Ave (Presidio) SF

  • 5 CE credits

Despite the claims of various promoters of new therapeutic techniques, there is no evidence supporting the superiority of one technique over another. However, there is ample research data showing that responsiveness to a patient’s particular problems and goals is a strong predictor of effective therapy. In other words, understanding what the patient wants and how they want to use therapy to get it.

Over the past several decades, SFPRG has developed an empirically derived method of case formulation – the Plan Formulation Method (PFM) – that serves as a useful guide for decoding the patient’s plan and offers coaching to the therapist as to how to be most effective.

The PFM provides a simple, reliable, learnable framework for understanding a patient’s conscious and unconscious goals, the pathogenic beliefs or schemas that prevent the patient from pursuing goals, traumatic experiences that contributed to the development of pathogenic beliefs, and how the therapist can optimize responsiveness to the patient’s problems, needs, and goals. In short, it points you towards not just WHAT to do, but HOW to be as a particular person’s therapist. There is research evidence suggesting that therapists who are trained in PFM and use the formulation to guide their interventions are more responsive to their patients and achieve superior therapeutic results.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of Control-Mastery Case formulation and begin applying it immediately to your cases. You'll learn how to integrate Control-Mastery formulation into your existing manner of working and strengthen the work you're already doing.

In this intro course we will cover:

  • Empirical basis for Control-Mastery, including the multiple lines of research that provide a basis for its approach

  • The Control-Mastery case formulation method and how to use it in your cases

  • Case conference to apply case formulation to your cases, so you leave with applicable, case-relevant information for your current cases

5 continuing education credits available
Instructor: Trevor Ahrendt, PsyD


Testimonials from Previous Participants:

“As an old hand who’s practiced from a control mastery framework for many years, I thought it would be a real learning experience to attend an intro workshop and review the basic tenets of CMT with fresh eyes—and it certainly was! Trevor Ahrendt is a great presenter—scholarly, clear, thorough, and humorous. He thoughtfully covered all of the basic concepts underlying CMT: the historical background, pathogenic beliefs, how safety shapes the therapy experience, the ways that patients test therapists, and how to respond. Not a slow moment throughout—and I’d do it all again!

Peter Howard, PhD, Clinical Psychologist"

"I would take this workshop again! Reading about Control Mastery Theory is one thing; learning about it from Trevor Ahrendt is something else entirely. Trevor's humor, clarity, and passion for this work made the theory come alive in a way that I had never encountered before. I feel like I gained a therapist superpower during this workshop. Trevor helped me see how CMT is really a way of being with clients, which can help me be more effective regardless of the therapeutic modality that I use. I cannot recommend this workshop enough.”

S. H., Doctoral Student

  About the Instructor:   Trevor M. Ahrendt, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY26754) working in private practice in San Francisco where he offers individual and group therapy. He received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group and has served on the board of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Association.  Dr. Ahrendt has provided trainings to organizations and clinicians on addiction and chemical dependency, the therapeutic relationship, and mindfulness in therapy. He’s provided trainings in varied settings, from prisons to the VA, and is a motivational speaker on issues related to personal growth and the importance of leading an examined life. He is the author of “How to Breathe Underwater: The Four Week Plan to Relieve Debt Stress.”  While Dr. Ahrendt has trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches while has spent the bulk of his time learning Control-Mastery Theory in depth. He offers regular introductory courses on CMT and the integration of CMT and Group Therapy.

About the Instructor:

Trevor M. Ahrendt, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY26754) working in private practice in San Francisco where he offers individual and group therapy. He received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group and has served on the board of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Association.

Dr. Ahrendt has provided trainings to organizations and clinicians on addiction and chemical dependency, the therapeutic relationship, and mindfulness in therapy. He’s provided trainings in varied settings, from prisons to the VA, and is a motivational speaker on issues related to personal growth and the importance of leading an examined life. He is the author of “How to Breathe Underwater: The Four Week Plan to Relieve Debt Stress.”

While Dr. Ahrendt has trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches while has spent the bulk of his time learning Control-Mastery Theory in depth. He offers regular introductory courses on CMT and the integration of CMT and Group Therapy.