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Philip Pierce

Featured Therapist Interview


What “tips” can you offer to colleagues just opening a practice?

Develop a practice specialty in addition to your general competence as an evidence-based therapist.

How do you remind your patients of their strengths during the therapy process?

Developing stronger positive core beliefs is a theme in my practice. I advise my patients to do notes in a journal or their cell phone with their positive actions that are contrary to their negative beliefs about themselves.

I give supportive comments regularly and listen with interest to their life stories.

Are you involved in other types of professional activities in addition to your private practice?

I’m involved in various art organizations, such as Outfest, the LA Gay and Lesbian Festival;

I’m a Writers Guild of America member, and have given talks at the major writing, directing, and producing guilds in Los Angeles; I’m a Lecturer at UCLA Dental School and a member of the Alumni Board of the Wright Institute (a psychoanalytic clinic!).

We would also like to know a little about you personally.

Who was your mentor?

Mentors include Dr. Jenny Yip, a noted clinical psychologist, who specializes in treating OCD, and Dr. Anne-Marie Kelly, a psychoanalyst at the Wright Institute Los Angeles.

When not practicing CBT, what do you do for fun?

I have written a number of screenplays; one has been produced and others have been optioned; I also go to lots of films and out to dinner with friends and love to read novels. And of course, there’s my puppy and my partner of over 30 years.

We are also interested in some of your views of CBT.

What do you think is the single most important thing CBT can do for your clients?

I help my patients form a cohesive, positive view of themselves and develop ways of thinking that are more accurate and helpful for living a satisfying, joyous life.

Where do you see the field of the behavioral therapies going over the next 3-5 years?

I think it is going to increased development and separation of the various fields, such as CBT, DBT, and ACT. It would probably be better if a unified, more integrative approach was to develop.

How do you use the local or social media to educate your community on the benefits of CBT?

I’ve written articles on medical and dental phobias in psychology journals, I’ve given lectures at the Writers Guild and Directors Guild on basic CBT techniques applicable to those fields.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.