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Therapeutic Communication

Second Edition
Knowing What to Say When

Paul L. Wachtel

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 11, 2011
ISBN 9781609181710
Price: $87.00 $65.25
398 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
October 1, 2013
ISBN 9781462513376
Price: $37.00 $27.75
398 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
August 3, 2011
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $37.00 $27.75
398 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $74.00 $40.70
398 Pages
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Download an e-book copy now or order a print copy

“This is the best book on how to talk to one's patients I have ever read, and it is the book I most frequently recommend to my trainees....The lessons on language embodied in this book are experience-near and clinically useful for anyone who talks with patients, regardless of theoretical orientation....Wachtel addresses with tremendous sophistication a number of thorny issues that are seldom addressed in such a clear, clinically genuine (as opposed to theoretically driven) way, such as the uses and limits of therapeutic self-disclosure and suggestion....A profound and important book.”

Journal of Psychotherapy Integration

“Quite simply, an excellent book. It is comprehensively researched; it takes an inclusive and integrative theoretical and practical approach; it engages deeply and with precision on tendentious issues and difficult concepts; and it renders explicit what a seasoned and experienced therapist may be doing intuitively....My copy is now well scribbled and earmarked, and I can imagine coming back to it again and again, not only to refine my own understanding of the difficult nettles grasped therein, but to simply begin to do all the secondary reading that Wachtel so expertly integrated into this formidable and profitable piece of work. This is a text that one would profit from greatly by reading straight through like any book; but my sense is that it will be ultimately more valuable as a reference and teaching guide.”

Psychodynamic Practice

“A comprehensive and provocative examination of the uses of language by therapists in clinical practice....Paul L. Wachtel, a noted expert, clinician, and theorist of psychotherapy...generously shares his extensive professional experience throughout the text....This book will be very helpful to clinicians in guiding their decisions about the best uses of language in clinical practice. Wachtel generously interweaves relevant theory and clinical experiences in the clearly written and informative chapters....It is up to date, comprehensive, well referenced, and strongly grounded in relevant theory and practice....Wachtel's book provides a strong impetus for examining the nature of therapeutic communication and encourages careful thought about the strategic exchange of messages to achieve therapeutic outcomes.”


“Should be of significant help to students and to practitioners of psychotherapy....Nuances of communication style are treated comparatively and persuasively rather than pejoratively....Wachtel's material is fecund with an admixture of theoretical knowledge, experience, and universally applicable clinical vignettes. The chapter on achieving resolution of the patient's difficulties is particularly germane....Overall, this book would be very useful and productive in training programs for all those engaging in forms of psychotherapy.”

Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry

“A uniquely practical guide and widely adopted text, this book shows precisely what therapists can say at key moments to enhance the process of healing and change….The book offers clear and specific guidelines for how to ask questions and make comments in ways that facilitate collaborative exploration and promote change. Illustrated with vivid case examples, the book is grounded in an integrative theory that draws from features of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, systemic and experiential approaches.”

Counseling Today

Therapeutic Communication, Second Edition, builds on the foundation of Wachtel's original book, but it very substantially updates and revises it, reflecting many exciting advances that have occurred in our field. Wachtel presents theoretical and clinical material that will sharpen any psychotherapist's understanding of how to communicate with patients.”

—Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Canada

“Paul Wachtel is among the very few teachers and theorists of psychotherapy whose writing has an immediate, direct, and powerful impact on my clinical practice. I have long used and recommended this excellent text and am delighted to see the revised second edition, which incorporates recent developments across the range of therapeutic approaches. Wachtel does not speak in generalities or abstractions; rather, he moves easily among theoretical formulations, research findings, and their practical application, illustrating his principles with numerous recognizable examples. He examines in great detail the nuances and subtleties of what you say to patients, how you say it, and the relational context within which you convey your therapeutic messages. This book is essential reading for practicing therapists of all persuasions. I can't wait to start reading it with my students.”

—Lewis Aron, PhD, Director, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University

“The wisdom and experience of a creative therapist are reflected in every chapter. As the subtitle indicates, it's what you say and when you say it that determines what a patient hears. Novice and experienced therapists of any theoretical orientation will find this book to be of significant value. It is clear that therapy is not simply about techniques—it's about relations that work. This book shows you how and why that is true.”

—Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy; Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College

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