This text explores how psychotherapists can use deliberate practice to improve their clinical effectiveness. By sourcing through decades of research on how experts in diverse fields achieve skill mastery, the author proposes it is possible for any therapist to dramatically improve their effectiveness. However, achieving expertise isn’t easy. To improve, therapists must focus on clinical challenges and reconsider century-old methods of clinical training from the ground up. This volume presents a step-by-step program to engage readers in deliberate practice to improve clinical effectiveness across the therapists’ entire career span, from beginning training for graduate students to continuing education for licensed and advanced clinicians.
“Despite a hundred years of theorizing and the promulgation of hundreds of treatment methods, evidence-based methods for improving the therapeutic effectiveness have remained elusive—that is, until now. In clear and entertaining fashion, Tony Rousmaniere reviews the latest research and lays out the steps for using deliberate practice to foster continuous professional development.”—Scott D. Miller, PhD, director, International Center for Clinical Excellence
“Research has clearly demonstrated that some therapists are better than others. As for diverse domains of expertise (such as sports, chess, and music), there is also evidence that superior effectiveness is in part due to deliberate practice. Based on his personal journey, as well as clinical and training experiences as a therapist, Rousmaniere describes specific principles, exercises, techniques, and strategies to develop and maintain a committed, repeated, and skill-building engagement toward excellence. Candid, bold, challenging, and constantly tied to clinical reality, this engrossing and innovative book offers creative insights and valuable tools to help clinicians become more effective, irrespective of their theoretical orientation and level of experience.—Louis Castonguay, PhD, Penn State University; former president, Society for Psychotherapy Research
“In Deliberate Practice for Psychotherapists: A Guide to Improving Clinical Effectiveness, Tony Rousmaniere outlines several issues regarding the development of expertise in psychotherapy based on contemporary learning theory and research. In doing so, Rousmaniere provides a remarkably innovative and valuable contribution to the field of psychotherapy that draws upon observations and methods about the mastery of skills sets from multiple different professions. As such, I believe this book provides incredibly important information for trainees, practitioners, and supervisors across all levels of experience.”—Mark J. Hilsenroth, PhD, Adelphi University
“Some psychotherapists consistently realize better client outcomes than their peers and the data show that they achieve this by having made a long-term commitment to engaging in deliberate practice (DP). But many psychotherapists remain unsure of just what DP is or how they might incorporate it in their own work. Rousmaniere answers these questions in a highly effective and engaging way. He takes the reader along on his own quest to become the best therapist he can and as he does, anchors his observations solidly in the research literature. The result is an essential guide for therapists for using DP to increase their expertise.”—Rodney Goodyear, professor, University of Redlands; emeritus professor of education (counseling psychology), University of Southern California
Table of Contents
Part I: The Path to Deliberate Practice 1. The Path to Competence 2. The Path to Expertise 3. The Experiment, Phase 1: Deliberate Practice 4. The Experiment, Phase 2: Solitary Deliberate Practice
Part II: The Science of Expertise: Learning from Other Fields 5. Expertise in Medicine: Focus on Clinical Outcomes 6. Expertise in Performing Arts: Focus on Skills 7. Expertise in Difficult Situations: Experience Refined by Feedback 8. Expertise in Spiritual Practices: Addressing Experiential Avoidance
Part III: Developing Your Own Deliberate Practice Routine 9. The Principles of Practice 10. Deliberate Practice Exercises for Basic Skills 11. Deliberate Practice Exercises for Specific Models
Part IV: Sustaining Deliberate Practice 12. The Inner Game: Self-Regulation, Grit, and Harmonious Passion 13. Advice for Supervisees: Finding Your Path to Expertise 14. Advice for Supervisors: Integrating Deliberate Practice into Supervision 15. Advice for Mid- and Later Career: Lifelong Learning 16. Challenges to Deliberate Practice 17. Looking Forward
Appendix: Videotaping Psychotherapy
About the Author
Tony Rousmaniere is on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle where he also maintains a private practice.