For Professionals

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Alexandre Vaz SEPI Interview

In the press:
Advance praise for Mastering The Inner Skills of Psychotherapy:

In this insightful book, Rousmaniere brings clinicians, trainers, and researchers together by offering them priceless gifts.  With detailed clinical examples, helpful exercises, ingenious measurement tools, and a truly engaging writing style he provides creative principles and guidelines to identify, understand, work with, and develop therapists psychological and inner skills  – skills, or lack of thereof, that can enhance or impede the process of change.  As an innovative addition to the movement of deliberate practice, this book offers troves of ideas, tools, and resources for therapists of varied theoretical orientations and experience levels.  It also delineates fruitful territories for clinicians, instructors, and researchers to share our common goal of improving psychotherapy.

—Louis G. Castonguay, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Penn State University, Former President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

99.7% (my best estimate) of all therapists have had the experience of feeling “de-skilled” by the so-called difficult client.  Such clients with their negative interpersonal process, despair, and traumatic histories can overwhelm a clinician’s psychological capacity to stay present and intervene effectively.  What to do?  Reach for this book!  No matter what your experience level, theory, or client focus, this book can help you deal with those challenging cases from the inside out.

—Hanna Levenson, PhD, Professor, Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA  

 With his characteristic blend of refreshing candor, insight, and humor, Tony Rousmaniere conveys his passion for helping therapists improve their skills through deliberate practice in this engaging and accessible book.  By focusing on practical techniques for increasing therapists’ capacity to be present and attuned in the therapy session, Rousmaniere draws attention to one of the most important ways to advance our field and improve our ability to help our patients.

—Catherine F. Eubanks, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, President-Elect of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI)

Mastering the Inner Skills of Therapy: A Deliberate Practice Manual makes a valuable and distinctive contribution to our appreciation of what is involved in becoming a more effective counsellor or psychotherapist. Drawing on his own personal experience, and relevant theory and research, Tony Rousmaniere explains practical ways in which therapists can address blockages in their capacity to engage with clients at key moments in the process of therapy. This book represents a source of essential practical wisdom that has a lot to offer to psychotherapists, and members of allied professions, at any stage of their career.

—John McLeod, Professor II Psychology, University of Oslo, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, Abertay University Dundee.

By focusing training on where therapists experience discomfort in their therapeutic work, this manual provides valuable guidance in how to enhance therapists´ competence. An important contibution to the literature on therapist training.

—Michael Helge Rønnestad, Professor emeritus, Dept. of Psychology, University of Oslo

For any graduate students in training or experienced psychotherapists who have ever had secret worries about their own “personal stuff” impeding their work with clients (all of us!), try Deliberate Practice (DP)!  This manual is a step-by-step program for facing and addressing these worries, first with simulated clients from films and later with video recordings of actual clients. The manual is not a dry “how to,” although the author, Tony Rousmaniere, does a fine job of explaining DP as graduated learning, providing readers with specific exercises, evaluation tools, and suggestions to work through tough times. Moreover,  in providing a highly personal account of his own  professional journey,Tony’s authenticity and humility in is nothing short of inspiring.

—Myrna L. Friedlander, PhD, Professor, University at Albany/SUNY

To get better at any skill we need to practice specific skills in a specific sequence to get specific result. This is as true of psychotherapy as it is of music, chess, or ballet. Tony Rousmaniere’s book will help you become more effective, no matter what theoretical approach you use. Why? Because he addresses the trans-theoretical skills every therapist needs, how to identify them, and how to build them. Research shows that the best therapists improve because they engage in deliberate practice. If you want to join their ranks, buy this book and learn how to do deliberate practice.

—Jon Frederickson, faculty, Washington School of Psychiatry; author, Co-Creating Change and The Lies We Tell Ourselves.

 As therapists, most of us would like to get better at what we do.  At once, most of us may be unsure of how that can happen, whether due to the complexity of the task (our outcome) of psychotherapy or limited success we have experienced trying to improve in the past.  In this manual, Dr. Rousmaniere, with characteristic humility and honest self-disclosure, outlines a path towards deliberately developing the internal capacities that support our work as therapists.  This highly readable and engaging manual is sure to be well-loved by beginning and seasoned therapists alike.

—Simon Goldberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

 Expertise in psychotherapy involves much more than mastering particular ideas or techniques. Treating patients inevitably stirs up reactions in the therapist, especially when the patients are challenging; the ability to retain one’s bearings in that situation is essential.  Athletes and musicians have been using deliberate practice—repeated exercises in discrete skills—for centuries in order to achieve mastery. Tony Rousmaniere is a world leader in applying those same principles to psychotherapy. If you’ve read his wonderful volume, Deliberate Practice for Psychotherapists, you already know that he is the perfect blend of high aspiration, compassion, humility, charm, and deep knowledge of the research literature. This book, which can be read as a companion volume or on its own, focuses in more detail on the nuts and bolts of using deliberate practice to improve your psychological capacity. Any therapist who ever feels overwhelmed dealing with a patient—and that may well be most all of us—can potentially benefit from deliberate practice. Short of your own expert deliberate practice coach, there is no better way to get there than this book and its accompanying web materials.

—Nat Kuhn, MD, author of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy: A Reference; Lecturer (Part-Time) in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Private Practice, Belmont, Massachusetts

Rousmaniere provides an innovative volume designed to facilitate the deliberate practice of psychotherapy skills.  What is truly innovative about this manual is that it is not focused on the mastery of skills specific to any one theoretical approach to psychotherapy but rather it is designed to facilitate, organize and evaluate deliberate practice strategies themselves, individualized to the needs or desires of a given therapist.  Significant focus is given to developing the therapists’ inner awareness through various exercises in conjunction with a systematic framework aided by a variety of resources provided.   In sum, this book provides several useful strategies for clinicians at all levels of experience to engage in the deliberate practice of psychotherapy skills.

—Mark J Hilsenroth, Editor of Journal Psychotherapy, Professor of Psychology, Derner School of Psychology

Mastering the Inner Skills of Therapy: A Deliberate Practice Manual is an important contribution the growing literature on therapist professional development and training. DP may be a promising way out from the puzzling results from research that experience and training do not seem to improve therapists’ ability to help their clients. Maybe traditional training and supervision too much have played a function as conservatories in the same way as music conservatories has tried to learn the students only to play as the masters demand. While a better way to reach mastery would probably be to address our weak spots and where we experience discomfort and in a systematic way work with our own shortcomings and difficulties to become a more effective counsellor or psychotherapist.This book will help you in this effort, and is strongly recommended to both beginning and very experienced therapists. We all should try to become as good as we can. So buy it and use this manual!

—Jan Carlsson, PhD, Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology, Örebro University, Sweden

Dr. Rousmaniere takes therapists on a journey of self-discovery that is destined to awaken the better therapist inside all of us. Written in a manner that is applicable for beginning therapists to experienced professionals, his model of deliberate practice is sure to enrich those who seek to become the type of therapist their clients need.

—Nicholas Ladany, Dean, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego

 Tony Rousmaniere is at the forefront of integrating performance science (especially the notion of deliberate practice) to advance our understanding of psychotherapy training.  MUCH NEEDED!  This manual (replete with principles, strategies, and exercises) is the latest of his important contributions to this initiative and will certainly be appreciated by junior and senior clinicians from the various psychotherapy disciplines and traditions.  MUST READ!

—J. Christopher Muran, Ph.D., Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University; Mount Sinai Beth Israel Psychotherapy Research Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Past President, Society for Psychotherapy Research & Past Editor, Psychotherapy Research

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Deliberate Practice for Professionals 

"Candid, bold, challenging, and constantly tied to clinical reality, this engrossing and innovative book offers creative insights and valuable tools to help clinicians become more effective, irrespective of their theoretical orientation and level of experience.—Louis Castonguay, PhD, past-president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

"In this remarkable book, Tony Rousmaniere combines a masterful command of the research literature with a brave, honest, and compelling account of his own struggles and growth as a clinician. This book challenges and inspires the reader to strive to be a better therapist, and provides practical suggestions for how to do so. It has already impacted how I practice and how I supervise."Catherine F. Eubanks, PhD, President-Elect, Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI)

"an essential guide for therapists for using DP to increase their expertise.”—Rodney Goodyear, PhD, past-president of the Society for Advancement of Psychotherapy  

“provides incredibly important information for trainees, practitioners, and supervisors across all levels of experience.”—Mark J. Hilsenroth, PhD, editor of the journal Psychotherapy

"In clear and entertaining fashion, Tony Rousmaniere reviews the latest research and lays out the steps for using deliberate practice to foster continuous professional development.”—Scott D. Miller, PhD, co-developer of Feedback Informed Treatment

"This book deals with an underdeveloped field of psychotherapy research, therapist development, in a very unique manner and both very personal and self-disclosing but also related to research evidence. Tony Rousmaniere explains the paths to competence and expertise as a therapist with all its ups and downs using a broad perspective and attracts trainees - and this is specifically striking – to learn from many other fields such as medicine and even the performing arts. This book provides an extremely valuable contribution to the field!” - Bernhard Strauss, PhD, past-president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

“An absolute must-read for any aspiring psychotherapist!” — Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, developer of PACT

"This book has important potential. Like Yalom, the book will benefit therapists in training, as well as professional therapists. The first person account is compelling. Deliberate Practice may be a beneficial “disruption” to traditional psychotherapy training." - Nick Ladany, PhD, Dean, UC San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences

Cycle of Excellence

Editors: Tony Rousmaniere, Rodney Goodyear, Scott D. Miller, & Bruce Wampold.  Wiley Publishers.  

Request an evaluation copy here.

Services for professionals:
  • I provide clinical consultation and training for advanced post-graduate clinicians around the world via videoconference, including Australia, Asia, India, England, Europe, and the United States.
  • I am available to give presentations on Deliberate Practice, Clinical Supervision, and related topics.  Please see my list of upcoming workshops.

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Tony Rousmaniere at CAMFTDeliberate Practice Workshop in Stockholm

Photo by Melissa Kobe for CAMFT

Feedback from previous students: 
"This is a must-do training!! My take-away from this experiential workshop was deeply transforming. The focus on the therapist's "capacity" to tolerate countertransference activations was very helpful and my experience of role-playing my client offered me much deeper awareness, acceptance and self compassion about my countertransference blind spots. The experiential exercises enhanced tremendously my ability to stay present within myself despite countertransference distress & activation. This is the most direct & effective approach I have ever learned in dealing with countertransference activation 'in the present moment'."

"The depth of learning was truly remarkable in part due to the focus on developing our individual practice between sessions. Tony's warmth and thoughtfulness guided each of us on a unique journey, allowing us to bear the reality of our struggle with and yearning for learning and development. Personally, this course has enabled me to become more effective and authentic as a clinician, it has been a wonderful gift to myself and my clients!"

"I'd expected a dry class, focusing on behavioral aspects of implementing deliberate practice. Instead, I found an inroad to the unconscious. Thank you for introducing us to a process that builds capacity. You were a great teacher, freely talking about your experiences, which helped create a safe group."

"The support to put our self criticism to one side was fabulous. It was a remarkable opportunity to do this without it getting too deeply personal. The experience was personal and quite profound at times. It was warm and connected, therapeutic and enabling change, but was not therapy."

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