In this book of lessons learned from working as a psychotherapist for over 40 years, Dr. Chamberlain shares her varied expertise and experiences, bestowing the wisdom she has gleaned throughout her career from patients, students, teachers, and colleagues.
The text examines three core themes: How helping clients is often intertwined with the therapist’s own life journey; the experience of building intimate relationships with vulnerable populations; and the process of accepting loss, letting go, and moving forward, both for the client and the therapist. Prioritizing personal narratives, case examples, professional research, and discussions with experienced clinicians, this book marks the significant impact psychotherapy has on not just patients and clients but also the mental health professional.
Offering enlightenment for readers ranging from longstanding psychotherapists to former patients, this unique book provides a particularly valuable resource for beginning therapists and therapists-in-training who seek a greater understanding of what it means to be a successful and effective therapist..
Table of Contents
I. Part I: How to Live
- There’s Only Us
- Follow the Yellow Brick Road
- The Pursuit of Happiness
- No Matter Where You Go, There You Are
- The Challenge of Compassion
- Healing Through Connection
- The Importance of Self Care
- Act or Accept?
- Saying Goodbye
- The End of Hope
II. Part II: How to Love
III. Part III: How to Let Go
VI. About the Author
Linda L. Chamberlain, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice and professor of Human Services at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey, Florida.
"In Practicing Psychotherapy, Dr. Chamberlain provides a 'true north' for students of psychotherapy and early career professionals, as well as encouragement and a challenge to seasoned professionals. The text offers a compelling argument, illustrated with vivid and moving anecdotes, that our best work depends on continuous development of a special kind of compassion, muscular enough to dismantle outdated concepts ('we' treat 'them') and tender enough to continually nurture our own and others' flawed, brilliant, messy, and creative humanity."
Jonathan Richard, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO
"Essential book for ANYONE who wants to be-or is-a counselor or therapist! Contemporary mental health training often emphasizes evidenced-based methods matched nicely to diagnoses. It often looks so easy. But this highly structured approach often leaves counselors and therapists unprepared for life 'out there' where there are no manuals or roadmaps. The results can be devastating emotional burnout or much worse. This book may be just the needed antidote. Dr. Chamberlain shows us glimpses of life as a real therapist, working with volatile, occasionally joyful, difficult, sometimes ungrateful, and all-too-human clients. Read this book to view the mind and heart of a master clinician as she recounts her journey across the lifespan, with skills that treatment manuals can never teach. Read it again to absorb the clinical wisdom on each page. But most of all, if you believe therapy is your calling, you need to spend time with this book and reflect carefully whether this path is really yours. This lifetime journey is magnificent, but it is not for the faint-of-heart."
Bill McCown, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, coordinator, Department of Psychology and associate dean for Research, University of Louisiana at Monroe
"Exceptional book giving insight to the experiences of a psychotherapist! Dr. Chamberlain provides a glimpse into the world of a professional therapist. Clients seek counseling due to various stressors, and this book can help new psychotherapists learn how to be open-minded. Schools of psychotherapy cannot prepare students for the various challenges clients may display. Dr. Chamberlain's book is an excellent read for new clinicians in the field of psychotherapy."
Eddie Williams, Ed.D., LMHC, NCC, MCAP, HS-BCP, program director/assistant professor, Human Services, Pasco-Hernando State College