Spring Brunch Series - Flights into Health or Sudden Gains

  • 16 Jun 2013
  • 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Location to be e-mailed to registrants
  • 1


Registration is closed

Flights Into Health or Sudden Gains:

A View From Psychotherapy Research

Kevin McCarthy, Ph.D.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flights into health are sudden symptom improvements that serve to protect the patient from further exploring painful emotions.  They often are considered to be deleterious to the psychotherapy process and to result in premature termination.  Sudden gains are a new discovery in psychotherapy research in which a patient experiences a significant large improvement in symptoms between sessions.  Individuals who experience sudden gains have been shown to have better subsequent outcomes than those individuals who do not.  These two phenomena, flights into health and sudden gains, both describe rapid symptom improvement but are expected to have very different implications for therapy outcome and process.  The similarities and differences between these two concepts will be explored, a case example provided, and recommendations for practice made.     

The Presenter:

Kevin McCarthy, Ph.D. earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, completed his internship and postdoctoral residency at the Pennsylvania Hospital, was a two-year Fellow at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and was a graduate of the Teachers' Academy of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  He is currently faculty in the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College.  His doctoral thesis was on the "Goldilocks Effect" of psychotherapy interventions to outcome, specifically how moderate levels (and not very low or very high levels) of interventions were related to the most symptom improvements in patients.  His research interests are in the process of psychotherapy and interpersonal relationships.  

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • 1.       Define a flight into health and 1 clinical assumption about a flight into health.
  • 2.       Define a sudden gain and 1 process factor that research has shown to be associated with sudden gains.
  • 3.       Explain 1 similarity and 1 difference between flights into health and sudden gains.

PSPP Brunch Series Registration

PSPP members and non-members alike may register online at the PSPP website, www.PSPP.org, locating the brunch you would like to attend, clicking on ‘register’, and following the instructions.  Seating is limited and reservations will take place on a first come, first served basis. 

Please cancel your reservation if you are unable to attend so that your space becomes available to another participant. To cancel a reservation, please contact Emily Loscalzo, M.S. at eloscalzo@gmail.com  or 215-479-3555.

Registration is open to PSPP members and other interested mental health professionals, school employees, or scholars from related fields that are not members.

Brunch Times and Locations

All Brunches will be held as follows:

11:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.     Brunch

11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.       Presentation and Discussion


Registrants will receive an email confirmation containing directions to the location of the brunch for which they are registered.

CE Credits and Fees

Brunch attendees are eligible for 2 Continuing Education Credits.  To obtain CE credits, you must register for a brunch program. CE credits are free to PSPP members. Non-members must pay $40 per program to receive CE credits.


This program is intended for mental health professionals with an intermediate level of knowledge and experience. It is not limited to individuals practicing in a predominately psychoanalytic mode.

PSPP and Division 39 are committed to conducting all activities in strict conformity with the American

Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during these presentations, or have any questions or other concerns regarding confidentiality, privacy, access or other issues, please contact Robin Ward, Psy.D. at 610-506-5888 or email robinwardpsyd@hotmail.com.  If you have concerns about such issues as handicapped accessibility, distress with regard to program content or other complaints, please contact Dr. Patricia Rice at (267) 259-6816 or email ricepg@gmail.com. Participants with special needs will be accommodated if possible. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflict of interest. During the program, the presenter will discuss the validity/utility of the content/approach as well as the limitations of the approach and most common risk factors, if any.

Continuing Education

Psychologists: This program is offered for 2 continuing education credits (2.0 CE). Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants. Psychologists will have their participation registered through Division 39. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

Social Workers:  Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania can receive continuing education from continuing education providers approved by the APA.  Since PSPP is approved by APA to sponsor continuing education, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirement by attending APA approved continuing education programs.

Educators:  Act 48 credits are available to participants who hold an educational certificate in Pennsylvania.  If you need Act 48 credits, please be sure to bring your PPID number to the conference.  Act 48 credits are processed by PSPP, and you will receive a letter in the mail documenting that you have earned 2 Act 48 credits a few weeks after the workshop.

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