This unique book identifies the core competencies shared by expert therapists and helps clinicians - specifically those providing brief dynamic/interpersonal therapy - to develop and apply these competencies in their own work. Neither an abstract theoretical guide nor a cookbook of particular techniques, the book establishes a framework of research-informed strategies for therapeutic change, within which the therapist can exercise flexibility and creativity. From highly regarded therapy teacher and researcher Jeffrey L. Binder, the volume's straightforward style, wealth of illustrative examples, and fresh insights on how learning can be enhanced for both therapist and client make it an invaluable professional resource and text. Grounded in findings from seminal psychotherapy research, the book begins by spelling out the core elements of competent clinical practice. Subsequent chapters discuss each of these core competencies in detail, illustrating them in action with vivid case examples drawn from time-limited work.
Provided are rich descriptions of the skilled therapist's mental processes and moment-to-moment actions as he or she engages in effective therapeutic inquiry and improvises - on a basis of sound theoretical and clinical knowledge - to facilitate progress toward therapeutic goals. Of particular interest, Binder sheds light on the learning experiences needed to develop therapist competencies, and shows how they are comparable to the learning experiences that clients undergo as they strive to improve their relationships and quality of life. Also demonstrated are the ways in which increased expertise may help the therapist reduce the number of sessions a treatment requires, improve the focus and depth of the therapeutic alliance, and achieve better clinical outcomes. Scholarly yet accessible, this lucidly written book will enhance the knowledge and skills of novice or experienced clinicians in any of the mental health disciplines, including clinical and counseling psychology, social work, family therapy, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing. It is ideal for use as a text in graduate-level psychotherapy courses and training programs.
"Don't let the title fool you--this is a book of great relevance to all psychotherapies regardless of length, theoretical orientation, or practitioner experience. While most books focus on specific theoretical approaches, specific disorders, or both, this is one of the few that highlights core therapeutic skills. Student readership should be extremely high for this book. I could very well see using it in my graduate-level course on brief therapy for both psychology interns and psychiatric residents, and I will recommend it to my colleagues who teach more general psychotherapy courses. The material is written without the use of jargon, demystifying the therapeutic dialogue in an accessible style that will be easily understood by students with minimal clinical experience."--Hanna Levenson, PhD, Levenson Institute for Training, San Francisco
"A superb, innovative contribution to the literature on time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, and one that is destined to become a classic. At the core of this volume is the assertion that therapeutic expertise consists of the ability to improvise and respond spontaneously and flexibly to the demands of the specific context, and Binder does a brilliant job of spelling out what he terms 'core competencies, ' or the generic performance skills possessed by expert therapists. In the process, he also does the field an important service by updating the time-limited approach he developed with Hans Strupp, drawing on both developments in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and important findings emerging from psychotherapy research. The writing is lucid and masterful and the thinking is seasoned and clinically mature. This book will be of interest to a broad readership, and will make a valuable text for graduate-level courses in brief dynamic therapy or basic clinical skills."--Jeremy D. Safran, PhD, Department of Psychology, New School University
"This volume offers an in-depth examination of the components of effective brief dynamic treatment. It is thoughtfully researched and well written. Its scope makes it ideal for either clinicians or researchers, whether they are just coming into the field or have many years of experience. The book will also be useful as a text in graduate programs teaching brief therapy or examining psychoanalytic treatments. A valuable contribution."--Simon H. Budman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"Binder's book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of expert psychotherapy practice. It is a rare privilege to so closely observe how a master clinician and supervisor works with his clients. Included are detailed and extraordinarily vibrant examples of brief dynamic therapy that both captivate and stimulate the reader. There are many unusual and excellent aspects to this book: it clarifies important psychodynamic concepts, includes supportive findings from cognitive science and therapy research, and provides supervisors and teachers with detailed illustrations on how to teach, learn, and apply higher-order therapeutic competencies across different therapeutic systems."--Jacques P. Barber, PhD, Center for Psychotherapy Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine