When I ﬁrst told Jason Whipple about my plans to write a book on using deliberate practice for psychotherapy, he responded, “Beware the fad.” When I asked what he meant, he replied,
Jason’s advice is smart. Most of my clinical failures have stemmed from limits in my basic psychotherapy skills, such as not accurately attuning with my clients, failing to build a solid therapeutic working alliance, or not managing my own experiential avoidance. Early in my training, I had hoped that learning the right psychotherapy model would improve my effectiveness. However, I now see that the most important step is building these basic skills. Without the basic interpersonal skills, I can’t be effective in any psychotherapy model.