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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Separated into four sections, this book addresses some of the fundamentals associated with both the teaching and learning of the art of psychotherapy.
Purpose: The task of learning how to competently practice various forms of psychotherapy is exciting and daunting. Many feel underprepared by their training and overwhelmed by their lack of experience. This book attempts to build the confidence of the reader striving to procure these skills.
Audience: Geared mainly to the psychiatrist (psychiatric resident) in training, Dr. Slavney's experience also serves useful for those supervising residents, or those in other mental health areas whose clinical practice consists of patients seeking psychotherapy.
Features: Each of the four sections provides useful clinical information, sometimes in the form of simulated conversations with various patient types immediately transferable to clinical situations. The sections regarding the psychotherapeutic relationship and psychotherapy supervision illustrate meaningful barriers which can exist in the training or treating process and are vital to understanding how they may impede progress.
Assessment: As a clinician who treats patients using various types of psychotherapy and who supervises psychiatry residents in all years of their training, I have found this book enlightening and useful. While not overwhelming in its size, the author provides clear clinical strategies that connect to major psychotherapeutic ideas quite comfortably, leaving the reader with a sense of confidence upon completion of the book, but also imparting the knowledge of the challenges this particular type of work can consistently provide. This book is well written and relatively free of the jargon that can bog down the novice with abstract ideas often difficult to translate into clinical approaches. I will recommend this book to residents in training, as well as colleagues who have frequent contact with trainees.