Succeeding with Difficult Clients: Applications of Cognitive Appraisal Therapy (Practical Resources for the Mental Health Professional)

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9780127444703: Succeeding with Difficult Clients: Applications of Cognitive Appraisal Therapy (Practical Resources for the Mental Health Professional)

"I know that I am doing therapy correctly and well, so why aren't some of my clients changing?" "Why do I feel anxious when I think about my next session with that difficult client?" When psychotherapy stalls, it's time to try new ideas. The authors' experience with difficult clients -- uncooperative, hostile, uncommitted to change -- gave them a new perspective on working with therapeutic impasses. Papers describing Cognitive Appraisal Therapy have appeared in many books and journals, and now for the first time these ideas are compiled into a single volume. Heavily influenced by the psychotherapy integration movement and in a radical departure from conventional cognitive-behavior therapy, they see motivation in terms of affect and attachment rather than cognitive schemas, and resistance and setbacks as the result of emotional setpoints. Practitioners from all corners of the psychotherapy landscape will be able to integrate Cognitive Appraisal Therapy into their therapeutic approaches to help them work successfully and confidently with difficult clients as individuals, as couples and in groups.

  • Novel therapeutic strategies and formulations to use when all else is failing
  • Provocative conceptualizations of self, personality and psychopathology
  • A fresh approach to treating personality-related disorders
  • Numerous case illustrations, and excerpts from actual psychotherapy sessions and supervision sessions
  • Straightforward, common sense writing free of jargon and psychobabble

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From the Back Cover:

"I know that I am doing therapy correctly and well, so why aren't some of my clients changing?" "Why do I feel anxious when I think about my next session with that difficult client?" When psychotherapy stalls, it's time to try new ideas.

Succeeding with Difficult Clients is intended to help psychotherapists and mental health professionals treat problem clients. Additionally, it explores the various forms that "difficult" can take, discussing the feelings and thoughts such clients evoke in the therapist and describing how therapists frequently manage and mismanage their feelings during therapy.

Cognitive Appraisal Therapy (CAT) is a departure from conventional cognitive therapies where client motivation is conceptualized in terms of affect and attachment rather than cognitive schemas. Through this dynamic approach, practitioners will be able to integrate CAT techniques into their treatment plans to help them work successfully and confidently with difficult clients as individuals, as couples and in groups. Throughout the book, applications of CAT are illustrated and examined.

Drawing from the authors' extensive experience, Succeeding with Difficult Clients is filled with case illustrations and therapeutic dialogs, presenting a powerful integrative approach to working with clients with personality disorders as well as methods for improving the therapist's understanding and managing of feelings that often impede effective therapy.

About the Author:

Richard Wessler is in private practice at Cognitive Therapy Services in New York City, and emeritus professor of psychology and former chair of the department at Pace University in Westchester, New York.He has written extensively on Cognitive Appraisal Therapy, the approach he originated with Sheenah Hankin. They collaborate on personality profiles of celebrities, such as the one of Howard Stern that appears in his best selling book, Private Parts. He appears on radio and television, including CNN and the Fox News Channel, discussing relationships, parenting and popular culture. He is regularly quoted in newspapers, including The New York Times and San Francisco Examiner, and magazines, including Seventeen and Entrepreneur, on topics ranging from flirting to employee relationships.In addition, he has authored numerous articles and books on psychological therapy and counseling. He is an editorial board member of Psychotherapy (the official journal of Division 29 of the American Psychological Assocation) and Psicologia Conductual (published in Spain).

Sheenah Hankin received her graduate degree in counseling from Aston University and her Ph.D. from International University. She practiced in Dublin, Ireland until 1981, when she moved to New York City. Together with her husband, Dr. Richard Wessler, she developed an approach for the treatment of personality disorders called Cognitive Appraisal Therapy.Sheenah practices on New York's Upper East Side and as reported in the New York Times Magazine, she is so much in demand that new clients must wait a year for an appointment. She is listed in Who's Who in America and most recently she authored the final chapter in Howard Stern's best-selling book, Private Parts.Sheenah is regularly quoted in magazines, especially Allure, Elle, Mademoiselle, Redbook and Newsweek. She has been a regular panelist on "Geraldo." Sheenah has been featured on "Good Morning America," "Leeza," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "Maury," "Animal Kingdom," MSNBC, and "Court TV." Sheenah also has a live weekly show on the Internet, On the Couch with Sheenah at www.onlineTV.com.

Jonathon Stern, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice with Cognitive Psychotherapy Services in Manhattan. In addition to working with adults, he specializes in psychotherapy with teenagers, children and their parents. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish from Haverford College, his doctorate in clinical psychology from The University of Connecticut, and completed an internship and an advanced internship in child forensic psychology at Children's Hospital in Boston.Dr. Stern previously was a Supervising Psychologist at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center Child Psychiatry Outpatient Department, where he also was Director of the Clinical Externship Program and a participating therapist in the Brief Psychotherapy Research Project. He has published articles and chapters on doing psychotherapy with difficult parents, has given numerous training workshops to professionals, most notably at The Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, and has taught at Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College and The University of Connecticut.

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