Lessons from the personal experience and reflections of Louis Cozolino.
The difficulty and cost of training psychotherapists properly is well known. It is far easier to provide a series of classes while ignoring the more challenging personal components of training. Despite the fact that the therapist’s self-insight, emotional maturity, and calm centeredness are critical for successful psychotherapy, rote knowledge and technical skills are the focus of most training programs. As a result, the therapist’s personal growth is either marginalized or ignored. The Making of a Therapist counters this trend by offering graduate students and beginning therapists a personal account of this important inner journey.
Cozolino provides a unique look inside the mind and heart of an experienced therapist. Readers will find an exciting and privileged window into the experience of the therapist who, like themselves, is just starting out. In addition, The Making of a Therapist contains the practical advice, common-sense wisdom, and self-disclosure that practicing professionals have found to be the most helpful during their own training.The first part of the book, ‘Getting Through Your First Sessions,’ takes readers through the often-perilous days and weeks of conducting initial sessions with real clients. Cozolino addresses such basic concerns as: Do I need to be completely healthy myself before I can help others? What do I do if someone comes to me with an issue or problem I can’t handle? What should I do if I have trouble listening to my clients? What if a client scares me?The second section of the book, ‘Getting to Know Your Clients,’ delves into the routine of therapy and the subsequent stages in which you continue to work with clients and help them. In this context, Cozolino presents the notion of the ‘good enough’ therapist, one who can surrender to his or her own imperfections while still guiding the therapeutic relationship to a positive outcome.
The final section, ‘Getting to Know Yourself,’ goes to the core of the therapist’s relation to him- or herself, addressing such issues as: How to turn your weaknesses into strengths, and how to deal with the complicated issues of pathological caretaking, countertransference, and self-care.Both an excellent introduction to the field as well as a valuable refresher for the experienced clinician, The Making of a Therapist offers readers the tools and insight that make the journey of becoming a therapist a rich and rewarding experience.