Becoming a Therapist

Second Edition
What Do I Say, and Why?

Suzanne Bender and Edward Messner
Foreword by Nhi-Ha Trinh

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May 25, 2022
ISBN 9781462549481
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472 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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Price: $39.00
472 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 13, 2022
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472 Pages
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Suzanne Bender discusses Becoming a Therapist, Second Edition.Video: Expert Advice for New Therapists

The reproducible materials can be downloaded and printed in PDF format.
“Empathy, compassion, and practicality are the foundation of this book. With its goal to improve the therapeutic experience, answer questions, and reduce the insecurities of new therapists, this book is a truly valuable resource….Although I consider myself a seasoned practitioner of mental health, every chapter is filled with a new way of seeing the therapeutic practice. I encourage anyone whose goal is to be ‘the best at what they do’ to keep this book handy. ****!”

Doody's Review Service

“A practical, no-nonsense guide to the process of psychotherapy....This book is a valuable and refreshing resource for both novice therapists and their patients. Though the target audience for this text is psychotherapists in training, it also provides valuable insights for clinicians of all levels and for anyone who wants to take a peek at the inner workings of psychotherapy.”

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (on the first edition)

“This book fills a gap in clinical training for psychotherapy, offering helpful strategies for handling many issues that arise. I recommend it for all psychiatric residents and for other students of mental health disciplines. It will also be useful to supervisors and more experienced practitioners who are interested in reflecting upon their approach and in carefully considering the therapeutic impact of the words they use.”

The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (on the first edition)

“This book is a must-read for every novice psychotherapist, as well as for psychotherapy supervisors and instructors. Even experienced therapists would likely benefit from the examples discussed in this book as a ‘refresher’ for practical examples of techniques to apply in common clinical encounters. I applaud Drs. Bender and Messner for writing such a relevant, practical, and needed guide for novice therapists....Psychiatry residents, psychology students and interns, social workers, and clinical counselors could all benefit immensely from this well written text. Additionally, psychotherapy supervisors could use this text as a reference for trainees. I believe this text should become an integral part of, if not required reading for, the psychotherapy curriculum in psychiatry residency programs.”

Journal of Psychiatric Practice (on the first edition)

“This is a beautifully conceptualized and written book. It was carefully planned to cover all main practical issues in psychotherapy and it covers them….The wealth and quality of therapist–patient dialogues is a great feature. I recommend this book to any beginning therapist, especially to psychiatric residents. I also recommend it to more experienced therapists to brush up on their therapeutic skills. 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 (on the first edition)

“This book addresses many questions faced by a novice clinician, offers useful advice, and provides a good starting point on which a young therapist can begin his or her career. Becoming a Therapistwould appeal to psychiatry residents, psychology interns, social workers, and psychiatric nurses. Nonprofessionals who are interested in learning the basic process of therapy would also find the book accessible because of its restrained use of technical terminology.”

Psychiatric Services (on the first edition)

“Bender and Messner offer a highly engaging, nonjudgmental, and clear description of the nuts and bolts of therapy. Practical tools, real-world scripts, and excellent case examples make this book stand out. With its down-to-earth approach, this book provides a wealth of knowledge and wisdom for beginning therapists!”

—Pamela A. Hays, PhD, author of Addressing Cultural Complexities in Counseling and Clinical Practice

“I highly recommend this text for master's-level clinical mental health counseling courses. Bender and Messner provide very practical 'dos and don’ts' for developing the therapeutic relationship and maintaining the therapeutic alliance. The training process for beginning counselors can be extremely anxiety provoking, as students move from hypothetical situations to actual client interactions and engagement. Becoming a Therapist, Second Edition, recognizes and honors the transition to clinical practice and provides real-time support for students' feelings and experiences”

—Robtrice D. Brawner, PhD, LCPC, Department of Psychology, Professional Counseling, and Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin–Parkside

“For years, I’ve recommended Becoming a Therapist to trainees seeking a thoughtful, accessible approach to learning psychotherapy, as well as to faculty supervising them. The second edition is even better than the first, expanding its reach to so many topics relevant for 21st-century practice. Bender and Messner exhibit a unique ability to connect with the beginner’s mind and provide wise guidance on complex topics. Reading this book is like conversing with the authors about a range of everyday tricky situations in clinical practice, and leaving with a treasure trove of ideas, scripts, tools, and further resources to try out.”

—Donna T. Chen, MD, MPH, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia

“As a career psychiatric educator and as a therapist, I have reviewed all sorts of books about how to practice psychotherapy. Becoming a Therapist is still my favorite and most useful resource. Bender and Messner provide easily digested, readily applicable answers to fundamental questions that often go unasked or are considered in too cerebral a fashion. The updated second edition addresses important societal changes and clinical advances, and is absolutely essential. Anyone who practices psychotherapy or is training to become a practitioner should have a copy on the shelf. Without question, this is the most valuable resource I have encountered about the difficult and immensely rewarding art of psychotherapy.”

—Steven Schlozman, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

“Bender and Messner provide clear, direct, approachable guidance for new clinicians. Enhanced content on exploring cultural identity, managing the demands of technological changes in therapy and health care, and the influence of social media on confidentiality are important changes in the second edition. The authors' admission of real feelings and responses as newer therapists are validating and engaging. I would consider incorporating this book at multiple levels within our clinical psychology PhD program, including in our early clinical interviewing course and our practicum section for new student clinicians seeing their very first clients. We will keep it on hand as an essential reference in our training clinic.”

—Jill D. Stinson, PhD, Department of Psychology, East Tennessee State University

“In Becoming a Therapist, we meet two warm and down-to-earth teachers who humanize the psychotherapy process and make it feel accessible to all of us. It’s like having a trusted supervisor close at hand when you need expert help and thoughtful encouragement. The second edition combines decades of clinical wisdom with vivid examples to offer us a resource that’s both rich in theoretical understanding and highly practical. This book is an invaluable companion for beginners and veterans alike.”

—Robert J. Waldinger, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, Program in Psychodynamics, Massachusetts General Hospital