Psychotherapy Blog


Howard Rosenthal, EdD

Howard Rosenthal, EdD, is professor and program coordinator of Human Services at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. He is the author of a number of books including the Encyclopedia of Counseling, The Authentic Purple Book, and the companion audio program used by counselors nationwide to pass licensing and certification exams. The book took the number one slot for Routledge's 2010 top ten counseling book list for the US and overseas in 2010. His text Favorite Counseling and Therapy Techniques is a publisher's bestseller. Dr. Rosenthal has lectured to over 100,000 people. His website is

Leave Your Degree at the Door, Dude

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/19/13 - 5:55 PM
The late 1960s and 1970s were exciting times for the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Much of the enthusiasm was spawned by a body of landmark research. At the time experts postulated that humans had two distinct nervous systems: the voluntary and the involuntary. The voluntary nervous system allows you to brew your morning cup of Joe or take out the trash before you leave for work. The involuntary or autonomic nervous system controls your heart rate, blood pressure and...

Gone in 60 Seconds: How to Handle a Mental Health Workshop Heckler

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 5/9/13 - 11:31 AM
Like most of you, as a psychotherapist, book author, and educator, I am often asked to give workshops, and educational seminars. For many of us, sharing our unique expertise is a part of our professional mission. A while back I was contacted by a church group who wanted to give a series of eight different mental health workshops during the spring. Each of the workshops would be presented by a different expert. I was going to be the final presenter, number...
Filed under: Therapy Training

Who Else Wants To Know Why Americans Spell Counseling With A Single "L"?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 8/21/12 - 5:37 PM
A while back, when I opened my afternoon snail mail I received a card from Dr. Thomas W. Clawson, CEO of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Dr. Clawson asked in his correspondence if I knew why the words counseling and counselor are spelled with a single "L" in the U.S., while in England and Canada the words are correctly spelled with two "L's” (i.e., counselling or counsellor). He then went on to answer his own question. The mystery, he...

Albert Ellis and the Traveling Road Show

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 8/13/12 - 1:54 PM
As a master's level graduate student at the University of Missouri, St. Louis I was very fortunate to have Dr. Patricia Jakubowski as my advisor. Pat was not only a recognized behaviorist, but she was also a pioneer in the assertiveness training movement. Best of all, she had befriended a psychotherapist who was very close to Dr. Albert Ellis. That's right the Dr. Albert Ellis. At the time, it was virtually impossible for a student such as myself who didn't own...

Nordstrom: Psychotherapy Lessons From The Cathedral Of Commerce

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/14/11 - 2:31 PM
Let's get something straight right from the get-go. I don't work for Nordstrom, nor am I am affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form. I've never spent a dime there. Truth be told, the only time I ever set foot in a Nordstrom was to walk from the mall to the parking lot. (Elapsed time: one minute and forty-five seconds.) But I do know this. Nordstrom has become the darling of the customer service movement. If you are searching...

Conduct Therapy Sessions Like Ellis Or Rogers In 7 Days Or Your Money Back!

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/3/11 - 8:19 PM
Okay Rosenthal, tell me something about psychotherapy I don't know. Fine: I will! If you've read all the textbooks, analyzed the classics, and been to enough workshops to receive frequent flyer miles, I've got something new to teach you so put down the managed care forms, and pay attention. My secret weapon for improving your psychotherapy sessions comes from the field of copywriting. That's correct, I said copywriting. Copywriting is the act of creating written documents that persuade customers to reach...

Ethical Guidelines: Do We Really Want What Is Best For Our Clients?

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/28/11 - 3:05 PM
Most therapists are familiar with the affliction of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD impacts approximately seven million people each year in America, mainly women. At one point in my career I shared a private practice office with a psychiatrist. She would use the office on some days and I would use it on others. When I entered the office for the first time I was struck by the fact that she had a phototherapy apparatus in the room. It was physically...

How One Desperate St. Louis Psychotherapist Cured A Schizophrenic

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 11/18/11 - 3:13 PM
Maggie began the session by telling me that she had been diagnosed by three different psychiatrists. The good news was that all three agreed on the diagnosis. The bad news was that each psychiatrist told her she was schizophrenic. "So, what brings you here today?" I asked. "Well, I saw something in the newspaper and it said you wrote some books on mental health and teach in the field so I thought you might know something these psychiatrists don't." (Wow. How refreshing. A...

The 7 real reasons why psychotherapists flunk their licensing and certification exams

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 5/12/11 - 11:37 PM
A friend of mine (let's call him Kurt to preserve confidentiality and perhaps more importantly not to embarrass him) told me was gearing up to take his state licensing exam. Had he prepared for the exam? "Come on Rosenthal, I just spent two of the best years of life in grad school and another three or so in supervision. I think I know this stuff by now." "Really," I remarked. "Who is the father of rational emotive behavior therapy?" "Come on dude, that's...

Suicide During the Holidays . . . Not So Much!

Posted by Howard Rosenthal, EdD on 12/12/10 - 12:19 AM
We've all heard it on a local or national television or radio station, "And when we return after the weather, we'll examine the tremendous increase in suicide during the winter holiday season."
Well that's great, except for one small thing: It doesn't exist. In fact, the direct opposite is true.  The suicide rate generally hits a peak during April and May.   The National Center for Health Statistics placed November and December as the months with the lowest daily rates of...
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