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Becoming a Therapist


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Table of Contents

I. The Consultation
1. First Contact
2. The First Moments
3. Initiating an Alliance and Assessing Safety
4. Enhancing the Therapeutic Alliance and Eliciting History
5. Collecting a Psychosocial History and Screening for Common Psychological Disorders
6. Formulating a Treatment Plan

II. Frame and Variations
7. The Frame
8. Setting the Fee and Billing
9. Telephone Calls: From Dependencies to Emergencies
10. No-Shows, Late Arrivals, and Late Departures
11. Confidentiality and Its Limits

III. Chemistry
12. Substance Abuse
13. Integrating Psychopharmacology with Psychotherapy

IV. Therapeutic Dilemmas
14. Management of Impasses
15. Empathic Lapses
16. Transference and Countertransference
17. Termination

About the Author

Suzanne Bender, MD, is a Staff Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Edward Messner, MD, is a Senior Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.


"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"

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