Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Jon Frederickson, MSW: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

July 12, 2021 Season 2 Episode 27
Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Jon Frederickson, MSW: The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Show Notes

Accurately mapping the "truth" of one's life is essential to crafting effective coping from a variety of perspectives.  Renowned psychotherapist & author,  Jon Frederickson, MSW, joins us for an in-depth discussion around some of the core themes of his book The Lies We Tell Ourselves, as well as a broader discussion of the therapy process in general.  In this discussion we cover:  

  • Jon's theoretical orientation/basic framework for understanding clients
  • how the pursuit of the truth became so central to his view of the function of psychotherapy and his book “The Lies We Tell Ourselves”
  • defining "truth" in psychotherapy
  • the common ways in which people lie to themselves via defences, denial & projection
  • how defences are established 
  • common signs & clinical presentations aligned with a lack of truth in a client's day-to-day life
  • the mystery inherent in each human being and what this means for both empathy and boundaries
  • the unique challenges of mid-life from a psychological perspective
  • how to promote truth and change in a client's life while remaining aligned with the client
  • assessing when and how it is time to terminate therapy
  • signs that clinicians should be seeking assistance from a psychotherapist to address personal/relational/developmental issues that could be impacting upon clinical effectiveness
  • how intolerance of anxiety can prevent clients from benefiting from psychotherapy and how to address this
  • how resistance in one’s life can function as a compass to find meaning

Jon Frederickson, MSW, is on the faculty of the Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) Training Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry. Jon has provided ISTDP training in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, India, Iran, Australia, Canada, the U.S., and the Netherlands.  He is the author of over fifty published papers and four books, Co-Creating Change: Effective Dynamic Therapy Techniques, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Learning to Listen from Multiple Perspectives, The Lies We Tell Ourselves, and Co-Creating Safety: healing the fragile patient. His book, Co-Creating Change, won the first prize in psychiatry in 2014 at the British Medical Association Book Awards, and it has been published in Farsi, Polish, and Slovak, and is currently being translated into Hebrew and Spanish. His book The Lies We Tell Ourselves has been published in Polish, Farsi, Norwegian, and Danish, and is currently being translated into German. 

He has DVDs of actual sessions with patients who previously failed in therapy at his websites and  

There you will also find skill-building exercises designed for therapists. He writes posts on ISTDP at

His forthcoming skill-building book for therapists, Healing Through Relating, will come out in 2021.