Becoming an Effective Psychotherapist: Adopting a Theory of Psychotherapy That's Right for You and Your Client
This books helps therapists-in-training evaluate the different theories of psychotherapy and shows that there is no "right" theory—rather, there are different therapeutic approaches that fit for each therapist and client.
Through a thorough overview and reflection of the main theories of psychotherapy, this useful book will help graduate students in psychology find a theory that is compatible with their worldview and will encourage them to become more effective therapists by matching therapeutic approaches to themselves and their clients.
By reading this book, students will be able to align their own values in their beginning practice to the major theories on which psychotherapy is based; they will be able to easily choose a model for practice maximizing their satisfaction, confidence, and effectiveness as a therapist.
Author Derek Truscott skillfully presents the nine leading systems of psychotherapy, the underlying rationale and approach to treatment for each, and their seminal theorists.
Each chapter showcases a specific theory's therapeutic goals, its assumptions about the therapist–client relationship, client tasks, and the related change processes. Chapters end with thought-provoking journal exercises, learning tasks, and case examples for the psychology student to use as an evaluation, as well as discussions of how each approach has evolved and is practiced today.
- Adopting a Theory
- Adapting Your Approach
About the Author
My desire to understand the human condition found a means through my undergraduate studies in psychology and philosophy. My desire to help others found a method while I was volunteering at a peer-counseling center at the same time. I still vividly remember saying to a fellow volunteer, "Wouldn't it be something if we applied psychology to helping people?"
I have often wondered whether that question was motivated by ignorance or by a precocious grasp of the disconnect between the science and practice of psychology. Whatever the case, from that moment onward I knew I wanted to be a psychologist, and a psychotherapist in particular.
I became a registered psychologist in 1987 and earned my doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1989. I have practiced in psychiatric hospitals, community clinics, group homes, rehabilitation centers, and in private practice, and have served on the faculty at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, since 1997.
When I began my training in psychotherapy, I thought that good therapy involved dispensing wisdom. Given that I was rather young, I assumed that I had time to fill as I waited to become older and thus wiser. So I decided to learn everything I could about ethics in order to stay out of trouble and in the profession while I gained the experience I needed.
An ardent believer in "writing to learn," I wrote two books on ethics with my dear friend Ken Crook—Ethics for the Practice of Psychology in Canada (2004) and Ethics and Law for Teachers (2007)—as well as book chapters, articles, professional guidelines and standards, and conference presentations. I also continued to study, research, teach, and practice psychotherapy.
To my great relief—having discovered firsthand that wisdom does not inevitably accrue with age—I learned that effective therapy is not about giving advice. I also learned that being ethical is not about receiving advice. Now I see my interests in ethics and psychotherapy as synergistic: An effective therapist is also an ethical one and vice versa.
I cannot imagine a better career than psychotherapy—it is always interesting, often satisfying, and ultimately deeply rewarding. I take pride in aspiring to be a good therapist and in striving to inspire others to do likewise.
In Becoming an Effective Psychotherapist, the author provides clear, understandable, introductory-level explanations of nine major systems of psychotherapy: psychodynamic, behavioral, existential, person-centered, Gestalt, cognitive, systemic, feminist and constructivist. Each chapter presents the basic foundation or essence of each system, covering the main theories and associated therapeutic practices…Overall, I found this to be a concise and well-written introduction to the major theories of psychotherapy. Students who read this book will have a solid grounding in the basics of these theories and will be well on their way to finding the therapeutic approaches that are a good fit for them as beginning practitioners.
Written by experienced psychologist Derek Truscott, Becoming an Effective Psychotherapist: Adopting a Theory of Psychotherapy That's Right for You and Your Client lives up to its title by holding to the premise that there is no one, perfectly "right" theory of psychotherapy that fits all patients and situations…An excellent, well-rounded, and unbiased resource, Becoming an Effective Psychotherapist is an absolute "must-have" for college psychotherapy libraries and enthusiastically recommended reading for professional therapists as well as therapists in training.
—Midwest Book Review