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Breaking the Patterns of Depression
Strategies for Treating Individuals, Couples, and Families

Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D.


Our knowledge of depression has greatly expanded in recent years, firmly establishing the essential role of psychotherapy in treatment. Simply put, there are things therapy can do that no medication will ever be able to do.

In this clinical training, we will spend the first day focusing on treatment issues and approaches most relevant to individual therapy, including cognitive, behavioral and strategic treatments.

On the second day, the focus will be on the social context of depression, addressing the relationships between cultural values, parenting styles, family dynamics, individual perception and behavioral styles, and the onset and course of major depression. We will broaden the simplistic view of depression as an individual biologically-based disorder in order to recognize how depression is often a direct response to interpersonal hurtful life situations.

Throughout the training, there will be concepts and approaches relevant to the issue of prevention. Well-timed education and early intervention make prevention possible.

This workshop reaffirms the value of good psychotherapy. Attendees will learn how to treat depression as a complex problem and not just a mere shortage of serotonin.


Participants will enhance their ability to:
Identify the most and least relevant theoretical models for understanding the disorder of depression
Understand what we actually know about depression from biological, psychological and sociological perspectives
Identify key patterns that cause and maintain depression
List and describe the role of attributional style patterns as depressive risk factors
Develop specific active intervention strategies for facilitating recovery
Design structured homework assignments to facilitate the development of life-enhancing skills to reduce relapses
Identify the social causes and consequences for the rising rates of major depression
Identify key interactional patterns that can contribute to and maintain depression in families, marriages and children
Identify opportunities for implementing preventive strategies


Biology and Psychology on a Collision Course
Gene- Environment Correlations
The Bio-Psychosocial Model of Depression
Epidemiology as an Informant

Symptoms and Symptom Management
Assessing the Psychosocial Context of Depression

Ambiguity as a Risk Factor
Attributional Styles and Perceptions
Addressing Hopelessness

Key Components of Brief Therapy

Depression as a Family Issue

The Social Context of Depression
Gender Differences
Expectations, Dating, Marrying, and Depression

Relational Skills, Parenting Skills
Transgenerational Risk Factors
“The Case of Mike: Building Resources”

Video Demonstration, Analysis and Discussion
Helplessness and Perceptions of Controllability

Learning to Think Preventively.


This training program will be of interest to:
social workers
mental health counselors
case managers
psychiatric nurses
drug & alcohol counselors
rehabilitation counselors
school counselors and psychologists
graduate students

Continuing Education Approvals

J&K Seminars, LLC is approved by the following organizations to provide Home Study Continuing Education Credits.

Those who submit a passing post test and pay the additional CE fee ($65) will receive a certificate of completion good for 12 CE Credit Hour

American Psychological Association (APA)
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Provider #5599
Maryland State Board of Social Work Examiners
Ohio State Board of Counselors and Social Workers
Association of Social Work Boards (Approved Continuing Education Provider # 1080)
J&K Seminars, LLC is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, which is accredited as an approver of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation.
ANCC (a subsidary or ANA) approvers are recognized through most state nurse licensing boards. Check with your state licensure board if you are not sure if your state board recognizes ANCC approved providers.
U.S. Navy Credentialing Board

Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D.

Dr. Yapko is internationally recognized for his work in depression and outcome-focused psychotherapy. To date, he has been invited to present his ideas and methods to colleagues in 23 countries across six continents, and all over the United States

He received his M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1980) from the United States International Univ., San Diego. Since receiving his degree he has maintained a private clinical practice. In addition, he has taught at the International University and has been an Editor of the Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter. He has been the Director of the San Diego Milton H. Erickson Institute since 1984.

He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, and articles on the subjects of the brief therapy of depression and the use of strategic psychotherapies. These include:

Treating Depression With Hypnosis: Integrating Cognitive-Behavioral and Strategic Approaches
Psychological 911: Depression
Hand-Me-Down Blues: How to Stop Depression From Spreading in Families; Breaking the Patterns of Depression
Hypnosis and the Treatment of Depressions
When Living Hurts: Directives for Treating Depression.
He is a recipient of The Milton H. Erickson Award of Scientific Excellence for Writing in Hypnosis and has written the authoritative sections on “Treating Depression” and “Brief Therapy” for the Encyclopedia Britannica Medical and Health Annuals.

For nearly a quarter century, Dr. Yapko has had a special interest in the intricacies of brief therapy, clinical applications of directive methods, and approaches for treating major depression.