2nd Edition

Core Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy Becoming a Highly Competent and Effective Therapist

By Len Sperry, Jon Sperry Copyright 2023
    328 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Core Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy addresses the core competencies common to the effective practice of all psychotherapeutic approaches and includes specific intervention competencies of the three major orientations.

    This second edition emphasizes six core competencies common to the effective practice of all psychotherapeutic approaches. It includes the most commonly used intervention competencies of the cognitive-behavioral approaches—including Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy—psychodynamic approaches, and systemic approaches. This highly readable and easily accessible book enhances the knowledge and skill base of clinicians—both novice and experienced. The second edition has been fully revised throughout and includes a new appendix featuring handouts and worksheets.

    This book is essential to practicing clinicians and trainees in all mental health specialties, such as counseling, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, family therapy, social work, and psychiatry.

    1. Core Clinical Competencies Today Core Clinical Competency 1: Conceptual Foundations 2. Conceptual Maps and the Therapeutic Process Core Clinical Competency 2: Therapeutic Relationship 3. Relationship Building 4. Relationship Maintenance Core Clinical Competency 3: Intervention Planning 5. Case Conceptualization and Assessment 6. Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning Core Clinical Competency 4: Intervention Implementation 7. General Implementation Strategies 8. Dynamic Strategies and Interventions 9. Cognitive Behavioral Strategies and Interventions 10. Systemic Strategies and Interventions Core Clinical Competency 5: Intervention Evaluation and Treatment 11. Outcome Assessment 12. Termination Core Clinical Competency 6: Cultural and Ethical Sensitivity 13. Cultural Sensitivity 14. Ethical Sensitivity Conclusion 15. Becoming a Highly Competent and Effective Therapist


    Len Sperry, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor at Florida Atlantic University and Clinical Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Among his 1,100+ publications is Highly Effective Therapy: Effecting Deep Change in Counseling and Psychotherapy.

    Jon Sperry, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynn University and a Staff Therapist at the Counseling and Psychological Services at Florida Atlantic University. He has published six books and over twenty articles and book chapters.

    "Drs. Sperry and Sperry are masters at writing practical, engaging, and evidence-based contemporary advice for contemporary psychotherapists who are in all stages of their professional careers. This new contribution, Core Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Second Edition, is no exception as it is a must read that should be in the hands of psychotherapy students and established professionals alike. Professionals, and their clientele, will surely benefit from this important text."

    Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP, University Professor, Santa Clara University and Adjunct Clinical Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

    "This book is so full of the most cutting-edge information on how to conduct effective and competent therapy that it is a must read for beginning and expert therapists alike. Written in classic Sperry "how to" style, Core Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Second Edition is a delight to read. Each chapter reveals new and valuable information gleaned from psychotherapy research and the clinical practice of expert therapists. It provides rich insights into a comprehensive, integrated, evidence-based, competency approach to treatment that can be utilized by any mental health practitioner."

    Brian A. Gerrard, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, Western Institute for Social Research, Berkeley, California

    "Counseling and psychotherapy are processes that involve more than just active listening coupled with warmth and acceptance, qualities that can be found in a good friend. To be a highly effective counselor/psychotherapist requires learning and mastering critical competencies like relationship building, case conceptualization, personalizing treatment interventions, and the necessary ethical and cultural sensitivity for effecting needed change and successful termination. This is the ideal book for practicum and internship courses--and for all those practitioners seeking to take their skills to the next level."

    James Robert Bitter, Ed.D., Professor, East Tennessee State University

    "This is a book for every psychotherapist's office. Together Drs Sperry and Sperry pour years of clinical experience and teaching into a contemporary evidence-based guide for counselors and psychotherapists. Whether you are a psychotherapist in training or very experienced, you will learn a new way to perceive your patient after reading this treasure trove of practical lessons that will make each of us a better therapist."

    Jon A. Lehrmann MD, Charles E. Kubly Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

    "Core Clinical Competencies in Counseling and Psychotherapy, Second Edition is one of the few must-read clinical training books that speaks directly to both early career and seasoned mental health professionals in a non-intimidating and yet richly informative manner. Anyone who is searching for a clinically valuable text that guides without imposing, that integrates without jamming, and that can effect deep and lasting clinical change will be delighted to have it."

    Marina Bluvshtein, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship, Adler University, Chicago