On Being a Therapist

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Apr 5, 2010 - Psychology - 352 pages
30 Reviews

An updated revision of Jeffrey Kottler's classic book reveals the new realities and inner experiences of therapeutic practice today

For more than 25 years On Being a Therapist has inspired generations of mental health professionals to explore the most private and sacred aspects of their work helping others. In this new edition, he explores many of the challenges that therapists face related to increased technology, surprising research, the Internet, advances in theory and technique, as well as stress in the international and global economy, managed care bureaucracy, patients with anxiety and depression from unemployment, dysfunctional families, poor education, poverty, parenting issues, often court mandated. Consequently, there's a wealth of new information that explores many forbidden subjects that are rarely admitted, much less talked about openly.

  • Goes deeper than ever before into the inner world of therapist's hopes and fears
  • Written by Jeffrey Kottler the "conscience of the profession" for his willingness to be so honest, authentic, and courageous
  • New chapters explore dealing with failures, reluctant patients, how clients change therapists, and more

There is also increased focus on the therapist's role and responsibility to promote issues of social justice, human rights, and systemic changes within the community and world at large.


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Review: On Being a Therapist (Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series)

User Review  - Brandan - Goodreads

A very broad glimpse into the field of working as a therapist. Feels a little rushed in places and tends to focus a lot on the negative aspects of the profession. Some parts are not really fleshed out ... Read full review

Review: On Being a Therapist (Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series)

User Review  - Angie Gilbert - Goodreads

I was not able to finish the entire book, but I will revisit this later. Next time I'll read the more recent version. I highly recommend this book for all new and emerging social workers! Read full review

All 8 reviews »


The Therapists Journey
Struggles for Power and Influence
Personal and Professional Lives
How Clients Change Their Therapists
Hardships of Therapeutic Practice
Being Imperfect Living with Failure
Patients Who Test Our Patience
Boredom and Burnout
Lies We Tell Ourselvesand Others
Alternative Therapies for Therapists
Toward Creativity and Personal Growth
About the Author
Name Index
Subject Index

That Which Is Not Said

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Jeffrey A. Kottler is professor, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton. He is the author or coauthor of more than eighty books, including the New York Times best seller The Last Victim, Divine Madness, Creative Breakthroughs in Therapy, and Changing People's Lives While Transforming Your Own. He is also head of the Madhav Ghimire Foundation, which provides scholarships for at-risk girls in Nepal.

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