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Clinical Strategies for Becoming a Master Psychotherapist

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Psychotherapy is both an art and a science. Understanding the contribution of both of these elements and achieving a proper balance is essential to optimize therapeutic success. Yet too often books focus on one or the other dimension or incompletely address the factors that affect the therapeutic outcome. Clinical Strategies for Becoming a Master Therapist focuses on the key skills in which therapists must excel to optimize therapeutic success. Each chapter is concisely written by experienced practicing clinicians and identifies the skill needed and how to practice that skill in the face of an evolving interaction between client and therapist.

Each chapter breaks down a broad skills (such as establishing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance) into its separate components (e.g. empathy, positive regard, instilling hope, appropriate feedback etc) and then gives practical advice for applying the skill in practice. Knowing when to use a skill, for how long, and in what manner is the art that goes along with the science of knowing the skills.

The skills cover the spectrum from the beginning, middle, and end of psychotherapy, across different kinds of clients, and different forms of psychotherapy. The book will be of use to all clinicians whatever their specialty, offering practical, proven tips to becoming a master psychotherapist.

The best health practices are a synthesis of science and art. Surgery is a case in point. Although all competent surgeons follow scientific protocols, the best surgeons are masters of the art of surgery and produce better outcomes: e.g., smaller incisions; lower mortality rates. Psychotherapists are in exactly the same position. Psychotherapy is both a science and an art. There are excellent resources that convey information about empirically supported practices -- the science of psychotherapy. However, this scientific information is incomplete in two important ways. It does not cover key matters that come up in psychotherapy (e.g., building a therapeutic relationship, resistance, termination), and it often does not fully cover the "art" of implementing these techniques, the nuances, the creative ways, the problem solving strategies when difficulties arise. This book is an attempt to have high profile, expert, "master" therapists discuss the art of handling these key issues

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Product Details

Meet the Author

William O'Donohue is the Nicholas Cummings Professor of Organized Behavioral Healthcare at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy. He has authored over 100 articles and chapters and co-edited more than 15 books.

Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D. is the President of the Foundation for Behavioral Health and Chairman of the Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation, Inc. He was the founding CEO of American Biodyne (MedCo/Merck, then Merit, now Magellan Behavioral Care). He is also the former President of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Cummings was the founder of the four campuses of the California School of Professional Psychology, the National Academies of Practice, the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association, and the National Council of Professional Schools of Psychology. He was also the Chief Psychologist (Retired) at Kaiser Permanente. He was the former Executive Director of the Mental Research Institute. Currently, Dr. Cummings is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Janet L. Cummings, PsyD., is President of the Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foudation, Inc., and former staff psychologist at American Biodyne (MedCo, now Merit Behavorial Care). She earned her Doctorate at the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, 1992.

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Table of Contents

1. The Art and Science of Psychotherapy
2. Enhancing Client Motivation to Change
3. The Therapeutic Alliance: Cultivating and Negotiating the Therapeutic Relationship
4. Narrative Psychotherapy as Effective Story-Making: An Introduction
5. Recognizing and Dealing with Cultural Influences in Psychotherapy
6. Effective Understanding and Dealing with Manipulation
7. Recognizing and Dealing with Transference
8. The Temporal Structure of Therapy: Key Questions often Associated with Different Phases of Sessions and Treatments (Plus Twenty-one Helpful Hints)
9. Resistance as an Ally in Psychotherapy
10. Enhancing Psychotherapy through Appropriate Entry Points
11. Dealing with Feelings of Depression
12. Designing and Assigning Effective Homework
13. Skills Training: How the Master Clinician Understands and Teaches Competencies
14. Using Tasks in Ericksonian Psychotherapy
15. Using Acceptance in Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy
16. Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Goes to Hollywood: The Treatment of Performance Anxiety in Cinema
17. The Importance of Novelty in Psychotherapy
18. Interruption Replaces Termination in Focused, Intermittent Psychoterapy throughout the Life Cycle
19. Suicidal Patients: The Ultimate Challenge for Master Psychotherapists

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