Becoming a Therapist

What Do I Say, and Why?


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Suzanne Bender,Edward Messner,Ni-Ha Trinh
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Suzanne Bender, MD, is a Staff Psychiatrist in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH); Co-Director of the MGH for Children (MGHfC) Pediatric GI Psychiatry Program within the MGHfC Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Department; and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bender teaches a weekly year-long course on child and adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy in the MGH/McLean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program. She has received five departmental teaching awards and three departmental mentoring awards from the graduating classes of the Child Psychiatry Fellowship. Dr. Bender has a private practice in Newton, Massachusetts, specializing in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology with children, adolescents, and adults. Edward Messner, MD, until his death in 2006, was a Senior Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Messner trained as a psychiatrist at the Boston VA Hospital, at Boston's Thom Clinic, and at MGH. He also graduated from the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute as a certified psychoanalyst. Dr. Messner received the Teacher of the Year award from the MGH Department of Psychiatry eight times. To honor him and his qualities of "kindness, compassion, understanding, insightfulness, humility, and selflessness in his daily work with patients and as an untiring teacher and supervisor of residents," the Department created the Edward Messner Faculty and Resident Awards in 2008. These awards annually recognize outstanding and committed teaching by both a faculty member and a graduating resident.
Introduction I. The Consultation 1. First Contact 2. The First Moments 3. Initiating an Alliance and Assessing Safety 4. Enhancing the Therapeutic Alliance and Eliciting History 5. Collecting a Psychosocial History and Screening for Common Psychological Disorders 6. Creating a Formulation and a Treatment Plan II. Frame and Variations 7. The Frame 8. Setting the Fee and Billing 9. Telephone Calls and Emails: From Dependencies to Emergencies 10. No-Shows, Late Arrivals, and Late Departures 11. When the Therapist's Life Affects the Frame: Vacations, Pregnancies, and Illness 12. Confidentiality and Its Limits III. Chemistry 13. Substance Use Disorders 14. Integrating Psychopharmacology with Psychotherapy IV. Therapeutic Dilemmas 15. Managing Impasses 16. Empathic Lapses 17. Transference and Countertransference 18. Termination V. Being a Therapist 19. Professional Development Glossary Additional Readings References Index

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