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The Essence of Psychotherapy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121987602, 9780080518831

The Essence of Psychotherapy

1st Edition

Reinventing the Art for the New Era of Data

Author: Nicholas Cummings
eBook ISBN: 9780080518831
Paperback ISBN: 9780121987602
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 3rd March 2000
Page Count: 268
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Table of Contents

About the Authors.
What Are "Best Practices" Anyway?
Psychotherapy Is an Amalgam of All Techniques and Competencies.
The Anatomy of Psychotherapy.
Effective Psychotherapy as Focused, Intermittent Psychotherapy Throughout the Life Cycle.
Intermittent, Focused Psychotherapy Throughout the Life Cycle.
Psychotherapy's New Horizons.
New Notes on Old Masters.
A Sampling of Current Masters.
Extreme Therapy: The Power of Psychotherapy.


The Essence of Psychotherapy traces the common thread in all psychotherapy approaches--behavioral, cognitive, psychodynamic, strategic, and humanistic--and defines this "essence" as a set of fundamental principles and ultimate objectives that must be preserved in the face of increased standardization in the field. While today's therapist is guided by protocols and manuals, psychotherapy, in practice, remains an art. Nicholas and Janet Cummings have gathered case studies of master therapists to illustrate the essential process of successful therapy and to show that, as an art, it is both teachable and verifiable.

Key Features

  • Illustrated with case studies
  • Analyses the techniques of six master psychotherapists in their work with difficult patients


Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and counselors.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2000
3rd March 2000
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


"This wonderful volume, The Essence of Psychotherapy is... a thoughtful, engaging and incisive book about intermittent psychotherapy over the life cycle... a collection of interesting cases of time-sensitive therapy... I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in psychotherapy, from the newest graduate student to the most experienced clinician." --SIMON H BUDMAN, Ph.D., President, Innovative Training Systems, Inc.; Faculty, Harvard Medical School

"For those psychotherapists who cannot see a positive future for their art in the age of managed care and evidence-based practice, I would prescribe a simple tonic: read this book." --STEVEN C. HAYES, Ph.D., Foundation Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Nicholas Cummings

Nicholas Cummings

Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D. is the President of the Foundation for Behavioral Health and Chairman of the Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation, Inc. He was the founding CEO of American Biodyne (MedCo/Merck, then Merit, now Magellan Behavioral Care). He is also the former President of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Cummings was the founder of the four campuses of the California School of Professional Psychology, the National Academies of Practice, the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association, and the National Council of Professional Schools of Psychology. He was also the Chief Psychologist (Retired) at Kaiser Permanente. He was the former Executive Director of the Mental Research Institute. Currently, Dr. Cummings is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Janet L. Cummings, PsyD., is President of the Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foudation, Inc., and former staff psychologist at American Biodyne (MedCo, now Merit Behavorial Care). She earned her Doctorate at the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, 1992.

Affiliations and Expertise

Distinguished Chair in Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno; Chair, Board of Directors of The Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Foundation, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ, USA President, The Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.