Is psychotherapy really worth the time and money that millions of Americans put into it? Is a therapist any better at helping us deal with our problems than a good friend, family member, spiritual counselor, or bartender? What makes therapy special? How does it work, and why does it sometimes fail? In How Psychotherapy Really Works, Willard Gaylin, one of the nation's most honored psychiatrists, unlocks the mysteries of the so-called talking cure, which, despite its present-day popularity, is widely misunderstood and highly controversial. In an enlightening tour of the therapeutic process, Gaylin speaks plainly but profoundly about the art of therapy, what the roles of the patient and therapist should be, and what is required from both participants for a successful therapeutic outcome. Along the way he addresses such important issues as who therapy can help and who won't benefit from it, why the therapist's personality is as important as his or her training, why the past really matters, and why therapists put so much stock in childhood experiences.