How to Fail as a Therapist: 50 Ways to Lose or Damage Your Patients

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Depending upon which study you read, between 20 and 57% of psychotherapy patients do not return after their initial session. Another 37 to 45% only attend therapy twice. A follow-up study on dropouts found most clinicians had no idea why their patients had terminated, whereas their clients could define very specific "therapeutic errors." Clients who drop out early display poor treatment outcomes, over-utilize mental health services, and demoralize clinicians.

It doesn't have to be that way. Well-researched strategies reduce dropout rates and increase positive treatment outcomes. How to Fail as a Therapist details the 50 most common errors therapists make, and how to avoid them. Therapists will learn practical, helpful steps for avoiding such common errors as not recognizing one's limitations, performing incomplete assessments, ignoring science, ruining the client relationship, setting improper boundaries, terminating improperly, therapist burnout, and more.
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Editorial Reviews

Stephen R. PsycCritiques - APA Review of Books
. . . a wealth of valuable information that should be readily implemented by readers . . . and shares numerous lessons of relevance for all psychotherapists . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886230705
  • Publisher: Impact Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Series: Practical Therapist Ser.
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernard Schwartz, Ph.D., has written a number of books, including Thoughts for Therapists and Get Your Children to Do What You Want Them to Do. He has specialized in the fields of sports psychology, and child custody evaluations, and has written extensively on both subjects. As a supervisor of doctoral students, it became clear to him that there was no single book to which he could refer that briefly yet comprehensively described the major clinical errors which can lead to poor therapeutic outcomes. Hence the impetus to write this book.

John V. Flowers, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Chapman University and a clinical psychologist in private practice. His research has focused on psychotherapy process and outcome, and more recently psychotherapy in the cinema. He has authored dozens of journals articles, several books, including Thoughts for Therapists, and made hundreds of presentations to scientific societies. As a clinical supervisor for over twenty years, he has observed first hand most of the errors described in this book.
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Table of Contents


Foreword by Arnold A. Lazarus

Introduction (Failing to Recognize Our Limitations as Therapists)

Chapter 1 How to Fail Even Before You Start Therapy
Chapter 2 How to Perform Incomplete Assessments
Chapter 3 How to Ignore Science
Chapter 4 How to Avoid Collaboration with the Client
Chapter 5 How to Ruin the Therapist-Client Relationship
Chapter 6 How to Set Improper Therapist-Client Boundaries
Chapter 7 How to Guarantee Noncompliance with Assignments
Chapter 8 How to Make Bad Attitudes Worse
Chapter 9 How Not to Confront Clients
Chapter 10 How to Get Clients to Refuse Medication
Chapter 11 How Not to Terminate Therapy
Chapter 12 How to Achieve Therapist Burnout
Chapter 13 A Final Word: The Power of Human Resiliency
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