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"Doing Psychotherapy Effectively is a thoughtful and provocative book on the complex processes of psychotherapy."


Jerome Kagan Daniel and Amy Starch

Research Professor of Psychology,

Emeritus at Harvard University  



"I found Doing Psychotherapy Effectively to be a most readable discussion of the history of psychotherapy, and the research related to its effectiveness. The authors, who have extensive clinical knowledge, write in such a way that a broad audience can understand the place of psychotherapy in the contemporary care of patients. In addition, the book can be seen as a useful guide to those considering psychotherapy for themselves, as it presents objective findings in an easily digestible manner.
This book is in no way a polemic about psychotherapy. It is factual, clear and objective in the presentation of findings. For those interested in knowing more about the process of psychotherapy this book details the critical components of the psychotherapeutic process. I know of no other book that presents as clear a picture of the psychotherapeutic process. The book will have an appeal to both the layperson and the professional interested in psychotherapy. It can be used for training purposes as well for it presents interesting clinical material illustrative of the authors' findings.
The book reads quickly and you come away feeling that you have grasped a topic which can too often be difficult to comprehend."


"Weissmark and Giacomo's book is an important step in bridging the gap between practicing clinicians and scientists researching psychotherapy. It recognizes the differences between these groups and provides an excellent synthesis of each perspective. The authors successfully convey a more complete understanding of the dynamics of psychotherapy and of the interpersonal relationship between therapist and patient. This work makes clear that successful elements in the therapeutic process are far from intuitive but can be identified and quantified. The book is an accessible and pragmatic work that offers a framework for measuring and understanding effective psychotherapy. Required reading for anyone practicing, researching, or attempting to better understand psychotherapy. Upper-division undergraduates and above."




Psychotherapy is a $2.5 billion business in the United States, but no one can answer the basic question of how therapy works. No watchdog groups rank therapists for potential consumers; no one school of thought has proven to be superior to another. And no method has emerged for determining what makes therapy successful for some but not for others. Doing Psychotherapy Effectively proposes much-needed answers to the puzzling questions of what therapists actually do when they are effective. 

Mona Sue Weissmark and Daniel A. Giacomo offer a unique mode of evaluation that focuses not on a particular school of therapy but on the relationship between therapist and patient. Their approach, the "Harvard Psychotherapy Coding Method," begins with the assumption that good therapeutic relationships are far from intuitive. Successful relationships follow a pattern of behaviors that can be identified and quantified, as the authors demonstrate through clinical research and videotaped sessions of expert therapists. Likewise, positive changes in the patientobserved through client feedback and case studies, can be described operationally; they involve the process of overcoming feelings of detachment, helplessness, and rigidity and becoming more involved, effective, and adaptable. 

Weissmark and Giacomo explain and ground these principles in the practice of psychotherapy, making Doing Psychotherapy Effectively an accessible and pragmatic work which will give readers a tool for measuring therapeutic effectiveness and further understanding human transformation. For the first time, successful therapy is described in a way that can be practiced and communicated.

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