Healing through Relating

Healing through Relating: A Skill-Building Book for Therapists

by Jon Frederickson

  • Would you like to be a more skilled therapist?
  • Would you like to help the 50 percent of patients who drop out of therapy before they receive its full benefits?
  • Would you like to connect with hard-to-reach patients so you can form a healing therapeutic alliance?

While other books teach theory, this book will help you develop the specific skills you need to be an effective therapist. You can practice the exercises with a partner or with audio recordings, just like learning a language. And videos will show you how. Each of the forty-two skill-building exercises teaches a specific technique so you can successfully address typical impasses in therapy. Where you got stuck in the past, you’ll be able to move forward in the future.

You will learn what to say so you can assess and regulate anxiety, help patients develop and keep an effective focus that leads to change, teach patients to see and let go of avoidance strategies, work with patients who deny that they need therapy, mobilize patients’ will to work toward a positive goal, support patients so they can shift from denial to facing reality, and identify early signs of dropout so you can prevent it.

When you improve your relational skills, you will be better equipped to help anxious patients.

Book excerpt:


Master therapist and award-winning author Jon Frederickson provides a clear, accessible, and highly effective path to clinical skill development.

— Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD, Executive Director, Sentio Counseling Center, and coauthor of the Essentials of Deliberate Practice series of books

By addressing skill categories that others have not covered in their deliberate practice books, manuals, or platforms, Frederickson makes a unique contribution to the training literature.

— Rodney Goodyear, PhD, Program Coordinator, Masters of Counseling and Psychotherapy, University of Redlands

If you step outside the ‘technique’ and into the unfolding conversation of therapy—as Jon Frederickson shows us—a deeper relationship awaits.

— Daryl Chow, PhD, author of The First Kiss: Undoing the Intake Model and Igniting the First Sessions in Psychotherapy

“Frederickson is a master at transforming core therapeutic principles into clear exercises that help therapists develop a broad repertoire of advanced skills. These skills will help therapists of any orientation flexibly match interventions to patients’ specific needs in the moment, leading to improved outcomes.”

— Peter Lilliengren, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Stockholm
University, Sweden

“All my students are recognizing just how important—in fact, crucial—skill-building exercises are. Even though they were anxious about them or a little resistant early on, they are a game changer in seeing therapists’ skills develop.”

— Angela Cooper, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie Medical

“I use Jon’s skill-building exercises with undergraduate counseling students and graduate students in clinical psychology. The opportunity to learn and practice these skills is consistently ranked as one of the most effective aspects of my courses and supervision. More advanced psychotherapy supervisees have reported that the skill-building practice improved their clinical effectiveness and led to personal and professional growth.”

— Deborah L. Pollack, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Utica University, and Clinical
Assistant Professor, SUNY Upstate Medical University

“The skill-building exercises accelerated the learning and implementation of an evidence-based practice, improving outcomes with clients, and developing clinicians became appropriately confident about their skills. Having an opportunity to build the capacity to intervene in sessions by practicing these skills outside of the therapy session prepares clinicians to respond effectively in session.”

— Asta Lynch, LCSW, Outpatient Services Bureau Director, Arlington County Community
Services Board, Department of Human Services

“The stimulating real-life exercises, accompanied by crystal-clear explanations, helped me integrate important principles of clinical theory and technique at a deep level. They helped my ‘attachment-muscle memory’ set in so my brain could forget about shoulds and should-nots. I became freer to listen and discover the true art of psychotherapy, see the potential in my patients, and most importantly help them see and feel it. I highly recommend this book.”

— Yair Braun, PhD, Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders, Rambam Medical Center,

“What has had the most impact on me as a CBT therapist is the ability to assess and regulate anxiety. Second is the ability to get a clear focus faster and avoid getting caught in rumination and vague, externalizing conversations. Third, I learned to ask for patients’ reactions to me and how they perceive me. It feels great to be able to help patients—I can feel their relief.”

— Mattias Boije, Social Worker and Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Outpatient Psychiatry,
H.glandssjukhuset Eksj., Sweden

“This book is a phenomenal contribution to the field. This is an approach to training that I encourage all new therapists to consider, as well as anyone like me with gaps in our development. The exercises are incredibly valuable to deepen skills or to course-correct.”

— Lisa Barker, Clinical Counselor, Vancouver, BC

“As a trainee, I found it difficult to establish the therapeutic task and instead was often caught up in the client’s diversifying. Jon’s skill-building exercises helped me establish the therapeutic task early on while co-creating a therapeutic alliance.”

— Richard Cox, Reg. MBACP, Psychodynamic Counselor and Psychotherapist, Buxton, UK