1st Edition

Very Brief Therapeutic Conversations

ISBN 9781138477360
Published March 19, 2018 by Routledge
216 Pages

USD $29.95

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Book Description

In Very Brief Therapeutic Conversations, Windy Dryden demonstrates the therapeutic value of very brief interventions in counselling, psychotherapy and coaching, using a wide range of techniques and skills to bring this novel approach to life.

The book provides an informative and innovative guide on 'how to do' very brief therapy in 30 minutes or less. The often fascinating and universal problems the volunteers discuss, as well as the goal and guiding principles of this novel therapy, are explored in the first half of this book. Inspired by Ellis’s therapeutic ‘Friday Night Workshops’, transcripts from Dryden’s own therapeutic conversations at his 'live sessions' with volunteers form the second half of the book.

Very Brief Therapeutic Conversations is an accessible and entertaining read for all therapists, whether in training or practice, who want to see very clear examples of theory being put into practice.

Table of Contents





PART 1: Principles and Practice

Chapter 1: The Principles that Guide My Work in Very Brief Therapeutic Conversations (VBTCs)

Chapter 2: The Therapeutic Bond in VBTCs

Chapter 3: The Importance of Shared Views in VBTCs

Chapter 4: Goals in VBTCs

Chapter 5: Task Behaviour in VBTCs

Chapter 6: What Volunteers Discuss in VBTCS and My Approach to These Issues

PART 2: Conversations

Chapter 7: "I Need to Know that A Large, Angry Man Won’t Attack me" – Lauren

Chapter 8: Understanding How the OCD Mind Works and Acting Constructively: Brianna

Chapter 9: Anal Sex Without Guilt...and Alcohol: Leon

Chapter 10: You Can’t Turn a Romanian into a Chinese: Diane

Chapter 11: "I Can Do It Even Though I’m Uncertain": Daphne

Chapter 12: "I Am Not Defective": Lily

Chapter 13: Working at the Base of the Pillar: Ulrike

Chapter 14: "Keep Alive, Keep Young and Stay Free!": Carla



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Windy Dryden is in part-time clinical and consultative practice and is an international authority on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has worked in psychotherapy for more than 40 years and is the author of over 220 books.


This book will be an invaluable asset to students and seasoned counseling professionals as well as the general public interested in learning more about very brief therapeutic conversations.  Dryden demonstrates mastery in assisting his volunteers to focus on what they would like to be different in their lives and the means to achieve their goals.  The verbatim transcripts in this book bring to life the art and science of single session counseling.  Through a mix of authentic empathy, humor, and acceptance, Dryden demonstrates the power of razor sharp focus and efficiency in a therapeutic context.

Kristene A. Doyle, Ph.D, Director of the Albert Ellis Institute



This is a book tightly packed with information. It provides the reader with a practical guide on conducting short, single-session therapy. It also provides details of Windy’s carefully considered (mainly cognitive-behavioural) approach to therapy, honed by his decades of experience. The transcripts of his live demonstration sessions within this volume are educational, inspiring, often humorous and a rare chance to ‘see’ a master therapist practice his craft. The comments from both client (volunteer) and therapist on the process add a depth one rarely sees in a training manual. Highly recommended to trainees and experienced therapists alike.

Rob Willson, author of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies