This book provides students and novice clinicians with nuts-and bolts advice about the process of doing therapy, starting with the first contact with a new patient. Filling a typical gap in clinical training, the book focuses on such real-world tasks as setting up appointments and discussing payment, conducting effective assessments while setting patients at ease, and dealing with mundane and serious clinical concerns, including suicidality. Featured are a wealth of sample therapist-patient dialogues that bring each situation to life. Suzanne Bender and Edward Messner - a junior clinician and a seasoned practitioner and supervisor - provide a unique, combined perspective on how therapy is conducted, what works and what doesn't work in treatment, and how to take care of oneself as a clinician. Each chapter opens with a concise summary and concludes with a list of key terms. The book also includes a helpful glossary and suggestions for further reading.
"Drs. Bender and Messner decided to correct the lack of a good teaching text for the beginning therapist....[Their] book clearly fulfils its goals to teach the basic steps, the nuts and bolts, and to be a guidebook rather than a cookbook. It is wonderfully written, comprehensive, detailed, yet very practical and useful. The wealth and quality of therapist patient dialogues is a great feature....All practicing clinicians could benefit from reviewing issues presented in this volume. I also suggest that this book become a required reading in residency training programs. - Annals of Clinical Psychiatry; This thoughtful and thoroughly engrossing book helps novice psychotherapists understand not only what to say, but also the theoretical concepts that undergird the words....Beginning practitioners and teachers of practice will find it an excellent text. - Joan Berzoff, Smith College School for Social Work; For therapists in training, the book offers helpful strategies (and warns against less effective interventions) for handling nearly every kind of issue that arises between the first contact and termination. More experienced therapists will also benefit from the authors' clinical competence and wisdom, especially with regard to patients that are rarely mentioned in textbooks but who frequently show up at our office those who, for example, arrive late to sessions, fail to pay their bills, or do not respond immediately to interventions. A noteworthy contribution. - Louis Castonguay, Pennsylvania State University"