Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Case Approach, 5th edition

Published by Pearson (May 4, 2024) © 2025

  • Nancy L Murdock


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For courses in counseling theory.

Bring theory to life with engaging, integrated case studies

Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy uses case studies, applied examples and original source material to succinctly elucidate 15 of the most influential and ground-breaking theories of psychotherapy and counseling. With this guide, students will learn how historical theory has contributed to modern practice and ways they can apply it to their own professional counseling experience.

The 5th Edition is thoroughly updated to provide modern, evidence-based context for each theoretical approach, new applications with diverse clients, and new psychotherapy outcome research.

Hallmark features of this title

  • Uses an integrated case approach where each chapter begins with a unique case study that is built upon throughout the chapter.
  • Examines the historical roots and lasting effects of 15 influential theories of psychotherapy and counseling.
  • Provides concrete, practical context to relate theory to practice. Students will be able to understand and envision how each theory's view of human nature and its view of therapy apply to actual clients.
  • Presents outcome research in detail, with a thorough discussion of the outcome research and the theory-testing research that has been done on each theory.
  • Evaluates gender and cultural issues of each theory using a balanced, modern perspective. Theories are also examined from the perspective of sexual orientation.

New and updated features of this title

  • UPDATED: Theoretical material in each chapter, with reviews of the most recent sources on the theories.
  • UPDATED: Psychotherapy outcome research coverage is substantially revised to include new discussions of comparative studies using treatment as usual groups, the latest conclusions about the relative efficacy of theoretical approaches, and perspectives on evidence-based practice.
  • UPDATED: Discussion of the issues of diversity, equity, and social justice includes a brief review of the multicultural orientation model (Chapter 1).
  • UPDATED: Contextualization of the theoretical approaches situates them historically and also illustrates new implications for applications with diverse clients.
  • UPDATED/NEW: Research Support sections in each chapter include the latest research available on the theoretical approaches and their applications with diverse clients.

The LMS-Compatible Assessment Bank streamlines assignments and grading

  • NEW: Chapter review quizzes, chapter tests and application exercises are included in an LMS-compatible packaged file. Application exercises in each chapter use a short-answer format and issue a model response written by experts.
  1. Theory is a Good Thing
  2. Psychoanalysis
  3. Neoanalytic Approaches
  4. Individual Psychology
  5. Person-Centered Therapy
  6. Existential Therapy
  7. Gestalt Therapy
  8. Behavior Therapy
  9. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  10. Cognitive Therapy
  11. Reality Therapy
  12. Feminist Therapy
  13. Family Systems Theory
  14. Solution-Focused Therapy
  15. Narrative Therapy
  16. Mindfulness Approaches
  17. Conclusion

About our author

Nancy L. Murdock, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has served as the Vice President for Education and Training of the Society of Counseling Psychology and is a past chair of the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs. Her research interests include professional issues, counseling/supervision process, and family systems theory.

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