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On Being a Therapist

Sixth Edition

Jeffrey A. Kottler

Publication Date - 15 February 2022

ISBN: 9780197604458

384 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock


For more than thirty years, On Being a Therapist has inspired generations of mental health professionals (and their clients) to explore the most private, confusing, and sacred aspects of helping others. In this thoroughly revised and updated sixth edition, Jeffrey Kottler explores many of the challenges that therapists face in their practices today, including pressures from increased technology, economic realities, and advances in theory and technique. He also examines the stress factors that are brought on from managed care bureaucracy, conflicts at work, and clients' own anxiety and depression. This new edition includes updated sources, new material on technology, new challenges that therapists face as a result of the global pandemic, and an emphasis on teletherapy and navigating ethics and practice logistics remotely. Generations of students and practitioners in counseling, psychology, social work, psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, and human services have found comfort, support, and renewed confidence in On Being a Therapist, and this sixth edition builds upon this solid foundation as it continues to educate, inform, and inspire helping professionals everywhere.

New to this Edition

  • New chapter about self-care for therapists
  • New discussions on teletherapy and navigating practicing remotely
  • Chapters updated to reflect new sources, methods, and data
  • Revised during the COVID-19 pandemic to reflect some of the specific challenges brought about by the global pandemic


  • Delves into the inner world of a therapist's hopes and fears
  • Written by Jeffrey Kottler, often considered the "conscience of the profession" for his willingness to be so honest, authentic, and courageous
  • Presents real-life insight on the various aspects of being a therapist in today's society

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey A. Kottler, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, and Scholar in Residence at The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services in Houston, Texas where he works on issues related to refugee resettlement. He is the author of over 100 books in the fields of counseling, psychology, social justice, and related fields.

Table of Contents

    About the Author
    1. The Therapist's Journey
    2. Struggles for Power and Influence
    3. Personal and Professional Lives
    4. On Being a Therapeutic Storyteller- and Listener
    5. How Clients Change Their Therapists
    6. Hardships of Therapeutic Practice
    7. Being Imperfect, Living with Failure
    8. Patients Who Test Our Patience
    9. Boredom and Burnout
    10. That Which Is Not Said: Myths and Secrets
    11. Lies We Tell Ourselves- and Others
    12. Self-Care Prospects and Realities: Becoming Models for Our Clients
    13. Alternative Therapies for Therapists
    14. Toward Creativity and Personal Growth
    15. On Being a Client: How to Get the Most from Therapy
    Discussion Questions
    Name Index
    Subject Index