Counseling and Therapy Skills:  by David G. Martin
374 pages, $45.95 list
eBook availability
Counseling and Therapy Skills
Fourth Edition
Significantly updated, the latest edition of Counseling and Therapy Skills continues to be a tremendous text-and-DVD value for beginning and practicing therapists to develop a full range of essential skills. Unlike highly technical works, the emphasis here is on presenting material the reader can use and translate into behavior. A second emphasis is the three-pronged message that therapy demands active involvement, empathy must be evocative, and the therapist must work at the leading edge of the client’s experiencing, thereby empowering the client to become the problem solver.

Award-winning educator and practitioner Dr. David Martin handles nuance and complexity with seasoned skill. His real-life examples cover beginning sessions, settings for therapy, ethics, various formats for therapy, cultural competence, and therapists’ self-care. No-nonsense, clearly written analyses of theoretical approaches, including ways to reconcile “specific factors” and “common factors,” provide a solid foundation for understanding the effectiveness of evocative empathy and how it can be used with other therapeutic practices.

The text is packaged with Observing Therapy, a DVD showing excerpts of the author conducting actual therapy sessions. This learning tool demonstrates evocative empathy and can be used to practice responses to clients.
“An important contribution in our students’ development as counselors. We’ve been using Martin since the Second Edition and have been very satisfied with it as a foundational text.” — Jorge de la O, Pacifica Graduate Institute

“I have always used this book when I’ve taught a skills class. I am unaware of any other text that addresses counseling skills not as compartmentalized appendages but as holistic relational ways of being with people. It is the best skills book on the market.” — Andrew Carey, Shippensburg University

“For beginning counselors, this is simply the best book to begin with for learning to do experiential therapy. My students find it clear and conversational, and appreciate the many clinical examples Martin provides to deepen their learning.” — Tom Burdenski, Tarleton State University

“In a marketplace teeming with how-to books, this text is a rare find. It covers subtle yet crucial skills that facilitate healing and enable both therapists and clients to move to deeper levels.” — Kay Bradford, Utah State University

“I have used earlier versions of this text. I believe Martin provides one of the best instruction manuals for practicing empathy on the market today. His writing is lucid and engaging. His practice instructions are easy to understand and follow. This should be required reading for all beginning counselors. Experienced counselors would benefit from a refresher on evocative empathy as well.” — Chad Johnson, University of Oklahoma

“The Martin book has been and continues to be, hands down, the best book of its kind on the market—no mean feat as there are a few dozen. Martin’s insights into interventions, depth of interactions, and style move students from novice to competent quickly. And it is affordable.” — Louis Downs, California State University, Sacramento
Table of Contents

1. The Third Alternative: Evocative Empathy
Lead or Follow? / Levels of Empathy / Evocative Empathy and Interpretation / Empathy Is Not Sympathy / This Is Hard Work: Empathy Is Not Passive / Rating the "Core Conditions" / One Way to Describe Empathic Behavior / What's Wrong with Rating Scales?

2. Learning to Hear
Basic Listening Skills / Hearing the Implicit Message / Where Is the Leading Edge? / You Hear Selectively

3. Finding the Words
Bring It to Life / Starting Out / Structuring and Focusing / Bold, Forthright, Skillful Tentativeness / Unique Language / Unique Questions / When You Miss

4. Confronting Experience
Combining Cognitive and Experiential / Therapist as Chicken—Intellectualizing Is Easy / Confrontation / Defensiveness and Resistance

5. The Basic Principle: The Client Is the Problem Solver
Solving Problems, Getting Strong / Empower Your Clients: Seek Their Feedback and Privilege Their Preferences / The Client's Job / Trusting Your Client—A Bit of Theory / The Content of Therapy / Influencing the Process / Setting Goals

6. Relationship Issues
The Therapeutic Alliance / Respect and Prizing-Positive Regard / Presence / Sharing Your Experiencing / Genuineness / Immediacy—Dealing with Your Relationship / Relationship Weakeners / Dependency and Attachment / Gender Roles and Therapy

7. Getting Started
Some Useful "Training Wheels" / Your (Almost Inevitable) Feelings of Incompetence / Finding Your Own Identity and Style

8. Beyond Skills
What You Can't Learn from a Book / Experiential Knowing / Many Ways to Communicate Empathy / Mindfulness / Presence / Flow (Being in the Zone) / Mindfulness, Presence, and Flow


9. Direct Interventions
Behavior Modification / Combining Approaches / Direct Environmental Interventions

10. Assessment
What Treatment for Whom? / Assessment within Therapy

11. Ethical Issues
In Whose Best Interest? / Role Conflicts / Confidentiality / Therapist Competence

12. Beginning and Ending
Arrangements / The Initial Interview / Termination

13. Other Formats: Building on the Foundation
Groups / Couples and Families / Weaving the Principles into Other Jobs and into Your Life

14. Cultural Diversity and Therapy
Cultural Competence / Culturally Competent Therapy Looks a Lot Like Competent Therapy

15. Taking Care of Yourself
The Importance of Self-Care / Being Mindful, Present, Grounded, and Centered / Specific Strategies for Self-Care / Therapy for the Therapist / You Need a Life: Other Important Aspects of Self-Care / Connection and Community / Further Reading on Self-Care


15. Why Theory and Evidence?
By the Seat of Your Pants, or Off the Top of Your Head Isn't Enough / The Key Question—Why Can You Trust the Client? / All of Our Theories Are Simplified "Line Drawings" of Different Parts of Reality / Being Integrative

16. The Nature of Emotional Problems
Principles of Painful Emotion / Why Exposure and Extinction Are Important / Conflict and Anxiety / Repression and Cognitive Distortions / Maladaptive Behavior ("Symptom") Development / Problems in Living

17. A Theoretical Understanding of Therapy
Answering the Basic Question: Trusting Your Client / Relieving Conflicts—in Theory / Step-by-Step Progress / Relieving Conflicts—in Practice / Breaking Old Schemes / The Effects of Therapy / The Consequences of Ineffective Therapy: Risks of Working Outside the Conflict Region

18. Research Evidence
Therapy Works / The Major "Bona Fide Approaches" to Therapy Demonstrate Roughly Equal Positive Outcomes / The Best Predictor of Outcome / The Person of the Therapist Matters—Some Are Just Better / Some Therapists Do Damage / So, Is It the Relationship or the Methods?-Wrong Question / Finding Your Own Way as a Therapist

Appendix: On Being a Client