The Therapist in the Real World by Jeffrey Kottler subtitles “What you never learn in graduate school (but really need to know).” When purchasing the book, it was the subtitle that caught my eye and solidified my decision. I’ve been out of graduate school for almost 13 years and feel that I have learned a lot more by doing than I ever did in the classroom. Kottler recognizes in the book that graduate school is limited in what they can teach and impress upon their students. He hopes that this book fills the gap.
The book is divided into 3 parts: gaps in graduate programs as well as the direction our field is headed, challenges, and professional as well as personal development for mental health clinicians. There was some comfort for me in reading about the challenges of this profession as well as the positives. I enjoyed Kottler’s predictions for the future of our profession, especially the movement towards more mind-body treatment.
Kottler discusses storytelling as a useful tool in therapy or presentations. This part really resonated with me and has caused me to think more about adding stories in sessions and presentations.
He dedicates a chapter to office environments as well as publishing. Neither of these chapters resonated with me but I understand the decision to include them in this book.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and sharing tidbits with other clinicians I know!
Read this book if and only if:
- You are a mental health clinician!
Kottler, J. A. (2015). The therapist in the real world: what you never learn in graduate school (but really need to know). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.