You are on page 1of 7

MPC 5610-20 THERAPEUTIC COMMUNICATION Fall 2011 Three Units Instructor: Philip Brooks 415-668-8334, pbrooks@ciis.

edu Office Hours 11:30-2:30 Tues;11:30-2:30 Thurs. Teaching Assistant TBA Description of Course Content: A practical, theoretical, and personal exploration of the basics of therapeutic communication. We will explore listening skills and empathy, learn how to deal with feelings, examine personal issues related to this helping profession, and explore the therapeutic relationship. We will also examine related topics, such as working in the moment, intention, crisis management, as well as being open to issues which emerge spontaneously in the class. Summary of Educational Purpose: Therapeutic communication aims to change the clients thoughts, feelings, or behavior in accord with therapeutic aims. The course provides an overview of key concepts and methods in therapeutic communication, integrating psychodynamic, humanistic, and other approaches. The experiential portion includes role-play and simulations. Learning Objectives: After successfully completing this course students can : * Create a working therapeutic relationship (bridge to world of client, create sense of safety, warmth, can self-disclose or not as appropriate) .* Demonstrate empathic sensitivity (can empathically connect to clients, communicate this connection and understand why such empathic contact is important and how it is different from emotional fusion or merging). * Work productively with process dimension (can respond effectively to non-content cues, can allow, and when appropriate, deepen feelings). * Attune to the needs and therapeutic objectives of the client. * Take responsibility for themselves (take responsibility for their own projections, emotional triggering, role in conflict, etc.) * risk sharing their own vulnerabilities and positions. * manage their reactivity (receive feedback non-defensively, self-soothe, center themselves) * Understand the fundamentally Eurocentric context within which most Western therapeutic models developed. * Explore and gain greater insight on their diversity lenses (including, but not limited to ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identification, physical ability, age, and socioeconomic status). *. Understand the relativity of cultural lenses. * Explore community building with classmates. * Become a more effective client Learning Activities:

Brief lectures on some essential facets of the counseling process (30%) Demonstration sessions to highlight aspects of the therapeutic encounter (10%) Practicum experience with ones classmates to explore counseling approaches (45%) Discussion on the seminar material and in-class counseling practice (15%) Reflection and writing about a practice session, two video observations, in addition to six response papers, each a two-page typed reflection on your weekly reading and in-class experience Criteria for Evaluation: 1. Because this is an experiential/clinical class, regular on-time attendance is critical three lates = 1 absence, 2 absences = F barring exceptional circumstances 2. Presence and participation in class (including willingness to receive feedback, and willingness to experiment (50%) 3. Completion of weekly response, practice and video write-ups (25%) 4. Completion of final project (25%) 5. Demonstration of essential therapeutic communication skills Grading: Pass/Fail Level of Instruction: MA Required Reading: Course Reader 8/25 Getting Started: Meeting Each Other, Overview, Presence (No paper due) Readings: Kornfield: Psychotherapy and meditation Corey and Corey: Are the helping professions for you? Sue and Sue: Multicultural counseling theory Listening I (Paper 1 due, with risk assignment) Readings: Gendlin: The listening manual (especially the first half) Strupp and Binder: Empathic listening Practice: Experiment with basic listening skills from Gendlin Listening II (Paper 2 due) Readings: Rogers: Some hypotheses regarding the facilitation of personal growth Moursand and Kenny: Foundation skills Zaro: The initial interview (optional) Presence (Paper 3 due) Readings: Shunryu Suzuki: Prologue, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind Welwood: The healing power of unconditional listening Watch a therapy video with a partner-2 page paper due next week





Empathy (Video observation paper #1 due)

Readings: Firman and Gila: The psychosynthesis therapist (note some terms will be unfamiliar) Hammond et al: Responding empathically (dont get bogged down in details) Jenkins: The empathic context in psychotherapy with people of color 9/29 Client Intention and Motivation (Paper 4 due) Reading: Enright: Therapy Without Resistance 10/6 Dealing With Feelings I (Paper 5 due) Readings: Elliot: Feelings: the key to personal growth Miller: The drama of the gifted child Note: Bring recording instrument to class next week 3 10/13 Dealing With Feelings II (No paper due, come prepared to tape) Readings: Hammond et al: Developing perceptiveness to feelings Morsund and Erskine: Moving in Brooks: Catharsis model (optional)

10/20 Dealing With Feelings III (Session write-up due) Readings: Greenberg and Pavio: The phases of emotionally focused intervention Grof: COEX systems 10/27 Integrative Session I (Paper 6 due) Reading: Sullivan: Psychotherapy grounded in the feminine principle 11/3 Present Centered Practices (Video Observation Paper #2 due) Readings: Bugental: Clarifying the meaning of the living moment Corey and Corey: Common concerns of beginning helpers 11/10 Client-Therapist Relationship (No paper /Final due in two classes) Readings: Buirski and Haglund: The centrality of relationship Moursund and Erskine: A focus on relationship


Integrative Session II Readings: Meier: The elements of counseling Bender: Empathic lapses Sue and Sue: Multicultural and diversity issues in counseling and psychotherapy (optional) Crises and Special Topics ( Final Project Due) Readings: Meier: Special issues Kanel: The ABC model of crisis intervention Anonymous: Last year with Noah The Aims of Psychotherapy, Wrapping It Up Readings: Bugental: Though the traveler stops the journey stretches ahead Bien: A unified vision of life



Bender, S. and Messner, E. (2003). Empathic lapses. In Becoming a Therapist (pp. 259276). New York: Guilford. Bien, Thomas (2006). A unified vision of life. In Mindful Therapy (pp. 239-246). Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications. Bugental, James F. T. (1978). Though the travelers stop, the journey stretches ahead. In Psychotherapy and Process (pp. 119-144). New York: Random House. Bugental, James F. T. (1987). Therapist presence and the alliance. In The Art of the Psychotherapist (49-66). New York: W.W. Norton. Bugental, James F. T. (1999). Clarifying the meaning of the living moment. In Psychotherapy Isnt What You Think (pp. 15-39). Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker and Co. Buirski, Peter and Haglund, Pamela (2001). The centrality of relationship. In Making Sense Together: The Intersubjective Approach to Psychotherapy (pp. 75-100). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. Corey, Gerald (2005). Becoming an effective multicultural counselor. In Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy.(pp 23-28) Belmont CA: Brooks Cole Corey, Marianne Schneider & Corey, Gerald (1998). Are the helping professions for you? In Becoming a Helper (pp. 1-25). Pacific Grove, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Corey, Marianne Schneider & Corey, Gerald (1998). Overview of the helping relationship. In Becoming a Helper (pp. 65-81). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Corey, Marianne Schneider & Corey, Gerald (1998). Common concerns of beginning helpers. In Becoming a Helper (pp. 87-112). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Elliot, James (1976). Feelings: the key to personal growth. In Personal Growth Through Interaction (pp. 88-96). Berkeley, CA: Explorations Institute. Enright, John (1980). Therapy Without Resistance. Mill Valley, CA: PRO TELOS. Firman, John & Gila, Ann (1997). The psychosynthesis therapist. In The Primal Wound (pp. 229-253). New York: Suny Press. Gendlin, Eugene (1978). The listening manual. In Focusing (pp. 118-135). New York: Eversest House. Greenberg, Leslie and Pavio, Sandra (1997). The phases of emotionally focused intervention. In Working with Emotions in Psychotherapy (see D) . New York: Guilford. Grof, Stanislav (1976). COEX systems, systems of condensed experience. In Realms of the Human Unconscious (pp. 46-81). New York: E.P. Dutton. Hammond, D.C. et al. (1979). Responding empathically to the clients expressions: Reciprocal responses. In Improving Therapeutic Communications (pp. 97-136). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Hammond, D.C. et al. (1979). Developing perceptiveness to feelings. In Improving Therapeutic Communications (pp. 80-96). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Jenkins, Albert (1999). The empathic context in psychotherapy with people of color. In Empathy Reconsidered (pp. 321-341). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Kahn, Edwin (1996). The intersubjective perspective and the client-centered approach: Are they at their core? Psychotherapy, 33:I, 30-42. Kanel, Kristi (1999). The ABC model of crisis intervention. In A Guide to Crisis Intervention (pp. 54-89). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Kornfield, Jack (1993). Psychotherapy and meditation. In A Path With Heart (pp. 244253). New York: Bantam Books. Meier, Scott (1989). The Elements of Counseling. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Miller, Alice (1997). How we became psychotherapists. In The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self (pp. 1-25). New York: Basic Books. Moursund, J.P. and Erskine, R.G. (2004). A focus on relationship. In Integrative Psychotherapy (pp. 184-200). Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole-Thomson. Moursund, J.P. and Erskine, R.G. (2004). Moving In. In Integrative Psychotherapy (pp. 144-161). Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole-Thomson. Pipher, Mary (2003). Letters to a Young Therapist. New York: Basic Books. Rogers, Carl (1961). Some hypotheses regarding the facilitation of personal growth. In On Becoming a Person (pp. 31-38). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Stolorow, Robert D., Brandchaft, Bernard & Atwater, George E. (1978). Transference: The organization of experience. In Psychoanalytic Treatment: An Intersubjective Approach (pp. 15-17, 28-46). Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press. Storr, Anthony (1990). Transference. In The Art of Psychotherapy (pp. 69-81). New York: Routledge. Strupp, Hans H. & Binder, Jeffrey L. (1983). Empathic listening. In Psychotherapy in a New Key: A Guide to Time-Limited Psychotherapy (pp. 46-50). New York: Basic Books Sue, David and Sue, Diane M. (2008). Multicultural counseling theory. In Foundations of Counseling and Psychotherapy (pp. 245-262). New Jersey: Wiley. Sullivan, Barbara Stevens (1990). Psychotherapy Grounded in the Feminine Principle (pp. 79-109). Wilmette, Illinois: Chiron Publications. Welwood, John (2000) Toward a Psychology of Awakening(pp137-147) Boston: Shambala. Yalom, Irvin D., (2002). The Gift of Therapy. New York: HarperCollins. Zaro, Joan (1977). The initial interview. In A Guide for Beginning Psychotherapists (pp. 30-43). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Statement on Diversity: We are all socialized through our own ethnic and cultural heritage. This heritage intersects with other dimensions of our identity (e.g., gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, spiritual orientation, educational attainment and socioeconomic status). Historically, cultural differences have often been viewed by the dominant culture as deficits, and this prejudice is often internalized by both the dominant and the oppressed culture. Psychotherapists have an ethical obligation to become aware of their prejudices, conscious and unconscious, and to recognize that such prejudices have been, and continue to be, psychologically damaging, especially when they are unrecognized. In this course, we will emphasize the development of basic counseling skills that will become the foundation of our professional practice. These skills, however foundational they may be, have their own cultural and historical context. Later, after they are mastered, they may need to be modified in the service of clients with different cultural needs and experiences. Other classes, and clinical supervision, will provide that kind of training. But even in this class, with its emphasis on "baseline" skills, the kind of skills you need to be a licensed mental health professional, we will not forget that we are working in a particular cultural and historical environment, with its own strengths, weaknesses, blindness and prejudice. That awareness is just as foundational as the skills we will be learning. Also, be aware that we will address issues of diversity as they may arise, and that these discussions, while sometimes unplanned, are nonetheless important aspects of the Therapeutic Communication curriculum. Brendan Collins and Philip Brooks Reference "Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists," American Psychological Association, 2002.