Therapeutic Communication, Second Edition: Knowing What to Say Whenby Paul L. Wachtel
A uniquely practical guide and widely adopted text, this book shows precisely what therapists can say at key moments to enhance the process of healing and change. Paul Wachtel explains why some communications in therapy are particularly effective, while others that address essentially the same content may actually be countertherapeutic. He offers clear and… See more details below
A uniquely practical guide and widely adopted text, this book shows precisely what therapists can say at key moments to enhance the process of healing and change. Paul Wachtel explains why some communications in therapy are particularly effective, while others that address essentially the same content may actually be countertherapeutic. He offers clear and specific guidelines for how to ask questions and make comments in ways that facilitate collaborative exploration and promote change. Illustrated with vivid case examples, the book is grounded in an integrative theory that draws from features of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, systemic, and experiential approaches.
New to This Edition
* Reflects nearly 20 years of advances in the field and refinements of the author's approach.
*Broader audience: in addition to psychodynamic therapists, cognitive-behavioral therapists and others will find specific, user-friendly recommendations.
*Chapter on key developments and convergences across different psychotherapeutic approaches.
*Chapter on the therapeutic implications of attachment theory and research.
See also Wachtel's Relational Theory and the Practice of Psychotherapy, which explores a new direction in psychoanalytic thought that can expand and deepen clinical practice.
Description: As a complement to the many resources on manualized treatments, this book examines the general aspects of communication that occur in therapy and how students and clinicians can improve not only what they say, but how they say it.
Purpose: This second edition is aimed at updating theories, science, and therapeutic approaches.
Audience: It is appropriate for anyone working clinically with psychological patients, ranging from clinicians to students. This book has been used as an introductory textbook in graduate clinical courses and practica. The author is experienced in this area and is a natural choice to write this type of resource.
Features: An overview of theories of communication in therapy begins the book. Several approaches are considered and the overlap between therapy types is explored in some detail. This is followed by a review of attachment theories as they relate to emotional factors between the therapist and patient. The author strongly encourages attention to this dynamic attachment process as a core to therapy and a primer to the rest of the book. The next few chapters turn to a psychodynamic perspective, but that should not deter behaviorists because the discussions of cyclical patterns of interpersonal interactions are applicable to a wide variety of approaches and orientations. Later chapters focus on the subtle distinctions between exploration and interrogation by carefully scrutinizing the way in which interactions occur between the therapist and patient. Examples illustrate "what no to do," and provide guidance about beneficial communication methods. It presents a nice balance between encouragement and focusing on strengths and being forthright when unpleasant truths need to be faced. There are a few downsides to the book, one being the organization and writing style that lacks excitement or inspiration, partly due to the lack of a single figure, illustration, or table in the entire book. The other downside is lack of specific examples or dialogues to illustrate how the author would handle certain situations, although some may find this too directive and detracting from the general theory of therapeutic communication.
Assessment: This book provides a reasonable introduction to therapeutic communication. The information is solid and useful, but the writing style and delivery may become somewhat tedious for readers, and the lack of specific examples may engender some frustration in budding student therapists. I read the first edition in graduate school, and the changes in this second edition do not immediately stoke my desire to update my library.
"Therapeutic Communication, Second Edition, builds on the foundation of Wachtel's original book, but it very substantially updates and revises it, reflecting many exciting advances that have occurred in our field. Wachtel presents theoretical and clinical material that will sharpen any psychotherapist's understanding of how to communicate with patients."--Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Canada
"Paul Wachtel is among the very few teachers and theorists of psychotherapy whose writing has an immediate, direct, and powerful impact on my clinical practice. I have long used and recommended this excellent text and am delighted to see the revised second edition, which incorporates recent developments across the range of therapeutic approaches. Wachtel does not speak in generalities or abstractions; rather, he moves easily among theoretical formulations, research findings, and their practical application, illustrating his principles with numerous recognizable examples. He examines in great detail the nuances and subtleties of what you say to patients, how you say it, and the relational context within which you convey your therapeutic messages. This book is essential reading for practicing therapists of all persuasions. I can't wait to start reading it with my students."--Lewis Aron, PhD, Director, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University
"The wisdom and experience of a creative therapist are reflected in every chapter. As the subtitle indicates, it's what you say and when you say it that determines what a patient hears. Novice and experienced therapists of any theoretical orientation will find this book to be of significant value. It is clear that therapy is not simply about techniques--it's about relations that work. This book shows you how and why that is true."--Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy; Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
"I have used Therapeutic Communication in my graduate seminars, and students have been consistently appreciative of its combination of theoretical rationale and detailed examples (the 'why' and the 'how-to'). This combination has made it possible for students from all therapeutic orientations to apply the book's insights to their clinical thinking and practice. Wachtel's formulation of 'cyclical psychodynamics' is consistent with perpetuating factors, awareness of which is critically important for effective psychotherapy of any school."--Steven A. Kvaal, PhD, Department of Psychology, Roosevelt University
"Students in my master's-level class in Interpersonal Communication have consistently found Therapeutic Communication to be the best text to help them understand how change and growth take place through dialogue and disclosure. Wachtel seamlessly interweaves theory and skills, explicating not just one theory but several, in some of the clearest writing in the field. The chapters on building on patients' strengths and therapeutic communication with couples are a 'must' for practitioners. The focused session transcripts are a valuable teaching tool; the extensive references and detailed index are also significant assets of the book."--Delores Friesen, PhD, LMFT, Professor Emerita of Pastoral Counseling, Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
“A uniquely practical guide and widely adopted text, this book shows precisely what therapists can say at key moments to enhance the process of healing and change….The book offers clear and specific guidelines for how to ask questions and make comments in ways that facilitate collaborative exploration and promote change. Illustrated with vivid case examples, the book is grounded in an integrative theory that draws from features of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, systemic and experiential approaches.”--Counseling Today
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Meet the Author
Paul L. Wachtel, PhD, is CUNY Distinguished Professor in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Yale University and is a graduate of the postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy at New York University, where he is also a faculty member. Dr. Wachtel has lectured and given workshops throughout the world on psychotherapy, personality theory, and the applications of psychological theory and research to the major social issues of our time. He has been a leading voice for integrative thinking in the human sciences and was a cofounder of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration. Dr. Wachtel is a recipient of the Hans H. Strupp Memorial Award for psychoanalytic writing, teaching, and research; the Distinguished Psychologist Award from Division 29 (Psychotherapy) of the American Psychological Association (APA); and the Scholarship and Research Award from Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA.
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