Helpful readings for refining psychotherapy skills

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In her Johns Hopkins blog, Washington DC psychologist, psychoanalyst, Dr. Lynn Friedman recommended these helpful readings for refining psychotherapy skills. The readings are intended to provide depth across the array of theoretical orientations.

Readings for beginning psychotherapists

You asked me to provide you with helpful readings for refining psychotherapy skills. Also, I said that I would share a few of my favorites. As many of you know, I am a psychoanalyst and, in addition to doing psychotherapy, I practice psychoanalysis. At the graduate level my training was cognitive-behavioral and family systems oriented. Also, I was fortunate enough to work very closely with a skilled Rogerian. I derived a great deal of value from each of these approaches and they ALL continue to inform my work today. Here are some of the readings that I most enjoyed as a graduate student. Of course anyone serious about psychoanalysis must begin to read Freud’s, 24 volumes.

However, a more gentle starting point might be some of Nancy McWilliam’s work such as: Case Formulation.

Her book on psychoanalytic diagnosis is helpful. Also, I have always enjoyed David Shapiro’s book, Neurotic Styles. This is an oldie but goodie. 🙂

In the Rogerian arena, I recommend:

The Therapeutic Relationship with Schizophrenics, University of Wisconsin, 1967, Rogers et a. Chapter 17, A Silent Young Man. You can find this by googling the title and it is actually published (again) on the web. As a graduate student, I found this chapter to be the most helpful thing that I read! From it, I learned how to work with patients who do not talk.

For beginning family therapists, I’d recommend, Mastering Resistance: A Practical Guide to Family Therapy by Carol Anderson.

In addition to these helpful readings for refining psychotherapy skills, for those with a special interest in psychodynamic psychotherapy, here’s a list of recommended readings.

Dr. Lynn Friedman

Dr. Lynn Friedman, Ph.D., FABP, is a Clinical Psychologist, a Supervising and Training Analyst, and a Clinical Supervisor in full-time, private practice. She provides evaluation, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as well as supervision to psychoanalysts-in-training and other mental health professionals. Beyond this, she is a board certified, psychoanalyst who teaches at Johns Hopkins University and the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis.

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