Therapeutic presence—one’s ability to exist fully in the moment with a client—is crucial to effective psychotherapy practice.
Since the first edition of Therapeutic Presence was published nearly a decade ago, further research has emphasized the role and deepened our understanding of this essential building block of effective therapeutic relationships.
This book is a detailed guide on cultivating therapeutic presence for new and seasoned therapists alike. The authors’ model is based on the results of their extensive study, and revolves around three key aspects of therapeutic presence:
Using mindfulness and experiential exercises to create the conditions for presence, both prior to and in sessions;
Generating attunement to self and others, as a precursor that facilitates therapeutic presence; and
Recognizing the felt experience of in-session presence.
With practical, research-based scenarios and exercises, as well as a full training program for cultivating presence in students and trainees, this text will help train the next generation of therapists in the nuts-and-bolts of empathic attunement and a strong therapeutic alliance to create effective therapy.
About the Authors:
Shari M. Geller, PhD, is an author, clinical psychologist, and creator of the Therapeutic Rhythm and Mindfulness Program (TRM). With over twenty years of experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Dr. Geller coauthored the first edition of Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy. She also authored A Practical Guide For Cultivating Therapeutic Presence, which offers practical guidance for cultivating and strengthening therapeutic presence as a foundational approach. Dr. Geller has a long-term personal mindfulness meditation and drumming practice. Her training with teachers and neuroscientists, along with her personal practice, inspired her to integrate the benefits of mindfulness, group drumming, and emotion-focused awareness into one comprehensive program (TRM). Dr. Geller serves on the teaching faculty in Health Psychology at York University and for the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program at the University of Toronto; and is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, in association with the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC). Dr. Geller is also the president and cofounder of the innovative Centre for MindBody Health.
Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada and the primary developer of emotion-focused therapy. He authored the original books on Emotion in Psychotherapy (1986) and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (1988). More recent books include Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy: The Dynamics of Emotion, Love and Power (2008), Therapeutic Presence (2012), Emotion-Focused Therapy: Theory and Practice (2015), Case Formulation in Emotion-Focused Therapy (2015), Emotion-Focused Therapy of Generalized Anxiety (2017), Emotion-Focused Therapy of Forgiveness (2019), and Changing Emotion with Emotion (2021). He has received the Distinguished Research Career Award of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research as well as the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research from the American Psychology Association. He also has received the Canadian Psychological Association Professional Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession. He is a past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. He currently trains people internationally in emotion-focused approaches.