Time-Limited Psychotherapy in Practice

Gaby Shefler
Taylor & Francis Books
ISBN 1 58391 140 5

is declining while brief therapy is increasing in response to demands for
cost-effective therapy with audited outcomes. Time-limited psychotherapy, which
is based on psychoanalytical principles, is a compromise formalised in this
comprehensive book by Shefler.

for this type of therapy is confirmed after two hours of assessment interviews
by an independent evaluator. In the following 12 sessions the therapist listens
attentively to the client’s life story, from which he or she identifies the
core painful theme that becomes the focus in therapy. Resistance is ignored,
but the processing of separation, both in the client’s life and the therapy is

therapy should not be regarded as an easy option. Shefler formulates a complex
theoretical base and describes what to look for in suitable trainees and
clients. Shefler is concerned at the number of therapists who practise without
sufficient training.

has the experience but is curiously lacking in conviction. Yet outcome research
and the detailed case studies prove how useful time-limited therapy can be.
Most brief therapists would regard the scheduled number of hours with
assessment and follow-up time added as more than sufficient for the task.

Tugendhat is a writer and family therapist.

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