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Skills in Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy

Skills in Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy

Second Edition

February 2017 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This is a step-by-step guide to the key skills and techniques of the psychodynamic approach used at each stage of the therapeutic process. Updated in a second edition, the book includes a new chapter on neuropsychology and its implications for theory and practice, new content on working in the NHS and other settings, additional case material and updates to all chapters reflecting recent literature, research and understanding.

The Psychodynamic Approach
Becoming a Therapist: The Personal Journey towards Skilled Practice
Becoming a Therapist: Other Ways to Enhance Personal Growth
Therapist as Neurosurgeon: Understanding the Brain and the Implications for Psychotherapy
Setting the Scene for Therapy: The Therapeutic Frame
The First Sessions: The Therapeutic Alliance
Working with Unconscious Communication
The Theory Underlying Technique: Transference and Countertransference
Types of Interpretation
Interpreting the Transference and Countertransference
Understanding and Working with Defences
Managing the Therapeutic Process
Assessment and Formulation
How Do We Know it Works? And Why Has it Been So Difficult to Spread the Good News?

Well written and thoughtfully structured, this highly accessible, lively text offers the reader a contemporary and comprehensive introduction to psychodynamic practice. Howard provides lucid explanations of core psychodynamic ideas and skills rooted in engaging clinical illustrations. It will be an invaluable companion both during and beyond training.


Prof Alessandra Lemma
Trust-wide Head of Psychology and Visiting Professor, Essex University

`Small but perfectly formed.'

Susan Howard… has struck an easy balance here between theory and practice. She neatly illustrates key concepts such as transference, counter transference, making interpretations and so on, with succinct case examples. [The] 'mysteries' of psychodynamic counselling are unpacked with a clarity that has been lacking from many texts in this field. All [topics] are covered without jargon or oversimplification. Indeed, this is probably one of the clearest and therefore most informative texts I have read on the subject - The Psychologist

Size-wise, these books span an open palm and have a very handy flap on the back and front as an integral feature of the cover which can be used as a bookmark. They are concise, yet thorough, providing introductions to the key elements of the theory and practice underpinning major therapeutic approaches… [An] ideal 'intro'… I would recommend these books because, 'in a nutshell', they work - Therapy Today

Praise for the book

The 2nd edition of Skills in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy is an exquisitely written, engaging little gem of a text, providing an essential, contemporary and empirically informed overview of the skills and qualities requisite for effective psychodynamic therapy. Key concepts and skills are grounded in real and poignant case examples from clinical practice with signposts to further reading and resources. This book from this highly esteemed series should be required reading for anyone engaging in psychotherapy training and practice regardless of career developmental stage. 


Barbara Hannigan
Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, Trinity College Dublin

The journey of becoming a therapist starts here.. From the counselling room, to the first meeting, the therapeutic alignment…Susan Howard leads us through the process of becoming a counsellor with active listening skills. This book is helpful for students while training to become counsellors and to well-experienced counsellors.


Dr Netalie Shloim
Lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Leeds University

An engaging book, Skills in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy provides insight into the practice of counselling and psychotherapy. With case examples, Susan Howard highlights key skills and concepts to help guide students in their journey to becoming competent practitioners.

Mrs Ana Paula Wellbrook
Counselling and Psychology, City Lit
August 8, 2019

Very enjoyable and interesting, students like this a insight into Psychodynamic Counselling. An excellent text for developing ideas and theoretical understanding.

Ms Su Illingworth
Professional Development Team, Craven College
July 5, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters

Howard - Skills in Psychodynamic - Chapter 1