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The Art and Science of Relationship: The Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy
Richard G. Erskine and Janet P. Moursund
Phoenix Publishing House / Softcover / Oct 2022
9781800131378 (ISBN-10: 1800131372)
reg price: $78.50 our price: $ 74.58
324 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Reissue of a classic work with updated introduction, this clearly written book is useful for both practitioners and students in psychotherapy and other mental health professions. It focuses on the central role of the therapeutic relationship, and of relationships in general, in the healing process and in maintaining a psychologically healthy life.

The Art and Science of Relationship: The Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy is an easy-to-read explication of relationally focused integrative psychotherapy/counselling that will be enjoyed by novice and experienced mental health professionals worldwide. Richard Erskine and Janet Moursund illuminate the central role of the therapeutic relationship, and of relationships in general, both in the healing process and in maintaining a psychologically healthy life. They posit that the therapeutic relationship is key to helping clients become integrated or whole, and present both theory and practice to demonstrate this view.

The book is divided into three parts: Theoretical Foundations, Therapeutic Practice, and a full verbatim transcript of a therapy session. The book’s unique feature is the linkage of the transcript section with the earlier, theoretical and practice-oriented sections to clearly show how theory can be applied in the consulting room. For virtually every exchange between therapist and patient, the reader is directed back to a discussion of the specific aspect of theory and method that underly the actual words being spoken. The result is theory brought to life, theory brought out of the classroom or the professional workshop and into the real world of ongoing psychotherapy.

This book is highly recommended for students and practitioners of psychotherapy, counselling, and clinical psychology, and will be of interest to all those who work in a mental health setting.

Table of Contents:

About the authors
Introduction to the reissue

PART I: Theoretical Foundations

CHAPTER 1: Development of Integrative Psychotherapy
Roots and Beyond
Modern Psychotherapies
Principles of Relationship-Focused Integrative Psychotherapy

CHAPTER 2: Script, Repression, and Contact Distortion
Schemas and Script
The Function of Script
Maintaining the Script System
The Consequences of Script, Repression, and Contact Disruption
The Widening Spiral

CHAPTER 3: Relationship and Human Development
The Early Experience of Relationship
The Concept of Relational Needs
Development and Healthy Relationships
Development and Unhealthy Relationships
Trauma and Its Consequences

PART II: Therapeutic Interventions

CHAPTER 4: Healing the Hurts
A Set of Interlocking Systems
The Role of Relationship in the Healing Process
Relationship and the Facets of Growth and Change

CHAPTER 5: Creating a Therapeutic Relationship
Developing Therapeutic Personhood
Symmetry and Asymmetry

CHAPTER 6: Beyond Empathy

CHAPTER 7: Beginning the Work
First-Session Tasks
Establishing a Safe Working Environment
The Decision to Work Together
The Therapeutic Contract
Saying Good-Bye

CHAPTER 8: Moving In
Affect and Awareness
Fear and Anxiety
Resistance and Repression

CHAPTER 9: Therapeutic Interventions
Intervention Guidelines
Enactment and Experiment
Behavioral Interventions

CHAPTER 10: A Focus on Relationship
Three Relational Concerns
Transference and Countertransference Revisited
Therapist Error
The Juxtaposition Response
The Moment of Meeting

CHAPTER 11: Termination
Termination Criteria
The Decision to Terminate
Preparing for Termination
Tasks of Termination
Taking New Behaviors Out Into the World
The Last Session

PART III: The Transcript

CHAPTER 12: The Transcript
Transcript Linkage Index
Name Index
Subject Index

About the Authors:

Richard G. Erskine, PhD, Training Director at the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy, is a clinical psychologist with five decades of experience in the clinical practice and teaching of psychotherapy. He has specialised in the treatment of severely disturbed children, run a therapeutic community in a maximum security prison, and conducted his psychotherapy practice in New York City specialising in the treatment of obsession, dissociation, narcissism, schizoid processes.

In 1972, as a professor at the University of Illinois, Dr Erskine developed the initial concepts of a developmentally based, relationally focused integrative psychotherapy. By 1976 he established the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy in New York City and, along with members of the Professional Development Seminars, continued the development, research and refinement of a relational and integrative psychotherapy. Each year Dr Erskine teaches formal courses and experiential workshops on the theory and methods in several countries around the world. He is a licensed psychoanalyst, certified transactional analyst, internationally recognised Gestalt therapist, and a certified group psychotherapist. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles on the practice of psychotherapy. Some of the articles are available on his website,

Janet Moursund, PhD, is a retired psychotherapist and professor of counselling psychology. Originally trained in educational psychology, she brings to the practice of psychotherapy a grounding in learning theory as well as years of experience as a therapist and a teacher. She is the founder of the Center for Community Counseling (formerly Aslan House), a no/low-cost counselling centre staffed by professional volunteers from the Eugene, Oregon counselling community. She is the author or co-author of eight books, on topics ranging from statistics to personality theory, and before her retirement practiced as a licensed clinical therapist and served as departmental coordinator of the counselling psychology program at the University of Oregon.

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