Deliberate practice exercises help students and trainees rehearse fundamental child and adolescent psychotherapy skills to develop basic competence and hone their own personal therapeutic style.
Each book in the Essentials of Deliberate Practice series contains customized exercises consisting of role-playing scenarios in which two trainees act as a client and a therapist, switching back and forth under the guidance of a supervisor. The trainee playing the therapist improvises appropriate and authentic responses to a series of client statements organized into three difficulty levels—beginner, intermediate, and advanced—that reflect common problems and concerns encountered by practitioners who work with children and adolescents.
The first 12 exercises each focus on a single skill, such as observing and elaborating on play, exploring identity through a multicultural orientation, and addressing difficult issues like safety concerns and sex. These are followed by two comprehensive exercises—an annotated transcript and free-form mock therapy sessions—in which trainees integrate these essential skills into a single session.
Step-by-step instructions guide participants through the exercises, identify criteria for mastering each skill, and explain how to monitor and adjust difficulty. Guidelines and forms to help trainers and trainees get the most out of training are also provided.
Essential and exceptional. This book addresses head on the perplexing predicament in child and adolescent psychotherapy: even the best schooling does not adequately prepare you to be a skilled psychotherapist. Presenting a persuasive remedy, these experts lead us through exercises in experiential learning, demonstrating how deliberate practice develops skilled, compassionate clinicians. Full of useful examples and exercises that psychotherapists at all skill levels can directly apply in their practice, this book is a field manual for effective child and adolescent psychotherapy.
— Danielle Magaldi, PhD, Associate Professor, City University of New York, Bronx, NY, and Supervising Psychologist, Prospect Psychology, New York, NY, United States, March 2022
This is the book that I wish had existed when I was training as a child therapist! By breaking our work down into 12 core domains, it shows how we can use deliberate practice to improve the way we work with children. If this sounds reductionist, then what the authors offer is no simple “how to do therapy” cookbook. Instead, they see therapy like a complex jazz improvisation, where intense practice creates the foundation for creativity and flexibility, allowing each therapist to discover their own personal style.
— Nick Midgley, PhD, Professor of Psychological Therapies With Children and Young People, University College London and the Anna Freud Centre, London, United Kingdom, February 2022
A must-read that fills a void in the training of child therapists. Bate, Prout, and colleagues deliver an impressive, evidence-based model by which student therapists develop “their own voice” in the real-life treatment of children. The supervisor’s roles are clearly integrated throughout the process.
— Abraham Givner, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, United States, February 2022
This book represents a valuable contribution to the field of clinical practice as it operationalizes a clinical endeavor often misunderstood and undervalued. It is timely and extremely necessary as we face a crisis in child and adolescent mental health. By providing a clear structure informed by rigorous research and clinical findings, this book is suitable for both beginners and advanced professionals.
— Norka T. Malberg, PsyD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT, United States; coauthor of Mentalization-Based Treatment for Children: A Time-Limited Approach, February 2022
About the Authors
Jordan Bate, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. She teaches family and child psychotherapy courses, coleads the psychodynamic psychotherapy practicum, and runs the Attachment & Psychotherapy Process Research Lab. Her research centers on understanding therapeutic processes through attachment theory and on the effectiveness of clinical training, including deliberate practice. Dr. Bate is a trainer and supervisor in mentalization-based treatment for children (MBT-C) and President of Section 2 (Childhood and Adolescence) of APA Division 39 (Psychoanalysis). She maintains a private practice in Manhattan, New York working with patients across the lifespan.
Tracy A. Prout, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. She teaches evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy in the School-Clinical Child Combined Doctoral Program, supervises advanced graduate students in the psychodynamic psychotherapy practicum, and leads the psychodynamic psychotherapy lab at Ferkauf. Dr. Prout is principal investigator for several studies related to Regulation Focused Psychotherapy for Children (RFP-C) and supervises all graduate research assistants who work on these projects. Dr. Prout coleads IMPACT Psychological Services, an integrative, group private practice, with locations in Beacon and Mamaroneck, New York serving children, teens, families and adults.
Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD, is cofounder and Program Director of Sentio Institute. He provides workshops, webinars, and clinical training and supervision around the world. He is the author/coeditor of six books on deliberate practice and psychotherapy training and two book series: The Essentials of Deliberate Practice (APA Books) and Advanced Therapeutics, Clinical and Interpersonal Skills (Elsevier). In 2017, he published the widely cited article in The Atlantic Monthly, “What Your Therapist Doesn’t Know.” Dr. Rousmaniere supports the open-data movement and publishes clinical outcome data at https://drtonyr.com/. He was awarded the Early Career Award by the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.
Alexandre Vaz, PhD, is cofounder and Chief Academic Officer of Sentio Institute. He provides deliberate practice workshops and clinical training and supervision around the world. Dr. Vaz is the author/coeditor of four books on deliberate practice and psychotherapy training and two book series: The Essentials of Deliberate Practice (APA Books) and Advanced Therapeutics, Clinical and Interpersonal Skills (Elsevier). He has held multiple committee roles for the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI) and the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Dr. Vaz is founder and host of “Psychotherapy Expert Talks,” an acclaimed interview series with distinguished psychotherapists and researchers.