A concise, conversational approach speaks directly to graduate students' concerns and makes key information easy to understand and apply. Transcripts of actual counseling sessions and scenarios of different client responses bring theories to life. A common factors approach to therapy is integrated into every section, providing compelling evidence and practical suggestions for improving training and practice. The final chapter discusses future developments in the field.


Life involves suffering. It is inherently difficult, and people are imperfect. Clients are just people who are struggling, typically overwhelmed and/ or overwhelming those around them. In other words, clients are people like us. In fact, we counselors are often clients ourselves. About 85% of American therapists have themselves been clients, and rates are even higher in international or psychodynamic samples, where therapy for therapists is more normalized or a requirement (Norcross, 2005).

Clients have a tough job in therapy. They are trying to confront painful, difficult memories, feelings, and information to solve problems. However, clients are normally skilled to avoid discussing, thinking, and especially feeling the meanings of the very problems that brought them to therapy. They have developed behavior patterns that support ...

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