Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy: Clinical Practice beyond the Manual

Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy: Clinical Practice beyond the Manual

Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy: Clinical Practice beyond the Manual

Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy: Clinical Practice beyond the Manual

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

Books about psychodynamically oriented psychotherapies tend to focus on relatively broad and abstract intrapsychic forces, relationship vicissitudes, and therapeutic strategies. They present epic psychological and interpersonal events from a distance, without a detailed view of moment-to-moment transactions among the participants. Readers of the psychodynamic literature—by Freud through contemporary authors—may be captivated by the highly literate writing styles characteristically used to depict psychological forces as well as intrapsychic and interpersonal events, but just as often they are left unsure about how to recreate comparable experiences in their own therapies. Perhaps the biggest problem faced by psychodynamic authors when trying to describe how to conduct therapy is the strained attempt to utilize clinical theories and languages in efforts to depict the mental processes of therapists while they are engaged in clinical work. These clinical theories and languages were not developed to explain the complex performances of professional experts in any domain, including clinical work. This problem is especially acute in the literature on brief psychodynamic therapy, which, with few exceptions, has long been characterized by clinical theories of personality and therapy that lag behind the most contemporary theoretical and technical developments in the field. Consequently, even though many books on brief dynamic therapy reflect high levels of scholarship and clinical wisdom, they tend to be written in even more theoretically abstract and vague language than many contemporary books on long-term psychoanalytic therapy and psychoanalysis.

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