Mastering the Clinical Conversation

Language as Intervention

Matthieu Villatte, Jennifer L. Villatte, and Steven C. Hayes

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Hardcover
November 10, 2015
ISBN 9781462523061
Price: $73.00 $62.05
406 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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Paperback
September 6, 2019
ISBN 9781462542161
Price: $30.00 $25.50
406 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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e-book
November 10, 2015
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $30.00 $25.50
406 Pages
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print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
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406 Pages
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This compelling book provides psychotherapists with evidence-based strategies for harnessing the power of language to free clients from life-constricting patterns and promote psychological flourishing. Grounded in relational frame theory (RFT), the volume shares innovative ways to enhance assessment and intervention using specific kinds of clinical conversations. Techniques are demonstrated for activating and shaping behavior change, building a flexible sense of self, fostering meaning and motivation, creating powerful experiential metaphors, and strengthening the therapeutic relationship. User-friendly features include more than 80 clinical vignettes with commentary by the authors, plus a "Quick Guide to Using RFT in Psychotherapy" filled with sample phrases and questions to ask.

“A work of breathtaking scope and ambition….It is well written, the language used flows well, and the therapy dialogues are convincing, authentic, and warm—and resonate with my experience of therapy….At every turn I found myself immersed in the topic, trying to unpick many of the clinical interventions and training practices that I have come to know through tested experience and to rebuild them from a bottom-up understanding of why they are effective in influencing the listener….Some highlights of the book are its richness, depth, complexity, and inclusivity….Mastering the Clinical Conversationrepresents both a waypoint on a scientific and clinical journey and a compass heading for future progress.”

PsycCRITIQUES


“Beautifully written, this book imparts a deep understanding of language's relationship to psychopathology and its effective use in psychotherapy. The theoretical presentation is exceptionally rich and the many examples of clinical application are particularly informative. Chapters address the fundamental tasks of therapy, from conducting functional assessments to building the client's sense of self, fostering meaning and motivation, and enriching the therapeutic relationship. A 'must read' for psychotherapists and students.”

—Michelle G. Craske, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles


“A fascinating, very accessible account of RFT and its application to psychotherapy practice. The book offers a gorgeous balance of conceptual thinking and practical applications. It is a mind-expanding resource for psychotherapists of all orientations and levels of experience.”

—Jacqueline B. Persons, PhD, Director, Oakland Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center


“Inspiring. Important. This book challenges every psychotherapist to pause and look again at the most basic tool of our trade—language—and the enterprise of meaning making. Its broad scope offers the promise of connection across models and perspectives as well as better ways to lead our clients into transforming moments in therapy.”

—Susan M. Johnson, EdD, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


“In this remarkable book, Villatte, Villatte, and Hayes bring to life the ways in which language and the use of symbols structure our experience. They explore how language shapes the therapeutic relationship and process, as well as clients' suffering, and how it can be a vehicle for igniting change. A cornerstone of this approach is RFT, beautifully articulated and described here. Clever, illuminating vignettes are sprinkled throughout. This book is a treasure trove of clinical wisdom with regard to the role of questioning, dialoguing, reflecting, and challenging in the therapy context. It is a gift to all psychotherapists.”

—Paul Gilbert, PhD, FBPsS, OBE, Centre for Compassion Research and Training, University of Derby, United Kingdom


“Villate, Villate, and Hayes recognize that the many, often wildly contrasting therapy approaches available today all rely on language as a major factor in therapeutic success. Using the theory of verbal behavior that underlies acceptance and commitment therapy this book provides ways for therapists of any stripe to use words to maximum effect. It offers a rich variety of examples that will make you a better practitioner, no matter what treatment approach you employ. This volume is a vital contribution to the increasingly important task of integrating the various approaches to psychotherapy to maximize their effectiveness.”

—Robert P. Cohen, PhD, Psychodynamic Therapy Clinic, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, and private practice, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Table of Contents

1. The Power of Language sample

2. Language and Psychopathology

3. Symbolic Tools of Change

4. Psychological Assessment

5. Activating and Shaping Behavior Change

6. Building a Flexible Sense of Self

7. Fostering Meaning and Motivation

8. Building and Delivering Experiential Metaphors

9. Training Experiential Skills through Formal Practice

10. Empowering the Therapeutic Relationship

Epilogue

Quick Guide to Using RFT in Psychotherapy

Practical Definitions of Terms Used in This Book

References

Index


About the Authors

Matthieu Villatte, PhD, is Research Scientist and Clinical Trainer at the Evidence-Based Practice Institute in Seattle. He has conducted workshops on the clinical applications of RFT and contextual behavioral science in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. Dr. Villatte's current work focuses on the dissemination of evidence-based practices, and he has published articles and book chapters on RFT, contextual behavioral science, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Jennifer L. Villatte, PhD, is a clinical psychologist committed to advancing health equity through contextual behavioral science. She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, where she partners with innovators in computer engineering, human-centered design, and data science to maximize the effectiveness and reach of behavioral interventions that enhance individual and community well-being.

Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada and a co-developer of acceptance and commitment therapy. His career has focused on the analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and its application to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. He has served as president of multiple scientific and professional organizations, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. His work has been recognized by the Award for Impact of Science on Application from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ABCT, among other awards. The author of 41 books and over 575 scientific articles, Dr. Hayes has focused on understanding human language and cognition and applying this understanding to the alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of human welfare. He is coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Second Edition.

Audience

Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, mental health and pastoral counselors, and psychiatric nurses.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.