About Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works

1. About the Database

Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works is a landmark database that contains more than 2,000 transcripts of actual therapy sessions, 44,000 pages of client narratives and 25,000 pages of major reference works. There are diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, and personal memoirs along with the full text of therapy and counseling sessions themselves. All accounts are non-fiction, delivered in the first person and, where possible, contemporaneous.

This collection has been years in the making and, to our knowledge, is the first of its kind. Never before has a collection of transcripts of actual therapy sessions, recorded by a variety of practitioners and academics illustrating a range of therapeutic techniques and practices, been brought together and made searchable. The pairing of these transcripts with associated reference works and published narratives, memoirs, and other client narratives enhances the collection's ability to provide insight into the experience of those undergoing therapy and suffering from mental illness.

The compiling of such a new collection presents its own set of challenges, including the important issues of consent and confidentiality and the protection of those clients whose therapy sessions are recorded here. We have worked closely with members of the counseling and psychological community, both on our editorial board and our contributors and potential contributors, to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect clients. Contributing practitioners ensure that appropriate consent for publication and research has been obtained before any transcripts are made available for the collection. Furthermore, working with practitioners and academics, we have developed a set of standards and practices for anonymizing transcripts of therapy sessions, and the contributing practitioner approves the edits before the transcripts are published in the database. Users are advised that while we have taken these precautions to protect the identities of the clients undergoing counseling and therapy, the material in this collection is very sensitive and should be treated as such.

Some of the counseling and therapy session transcripts included in the collection were transcribed by the therapists themselves for their records or as part of clinical research studies. Others were transcribed as part of this project by professional transcriptionists, trained both in transcription techniques and in standards of confidentiality. The sessions themselves have been recorded in a variety of formats, including video, reel-to-reel tape, analogue cassette, and digital formats. As is usually the case when dealing with older recordings, in some cases, audibility of the speakers is sometimes an issue. Our policy is not to transcribe any session that is more than ten percent inaudible. For this reason, in some cases, series of counseling and therapy sessions may be missing sessions. If a series is missing any sessions due to inaudibility, the sessions that are excluded will be noted in the series record.


2. Editorial Policy and Advisory Board

The aim of the collection is to bring together reference works, first-person narrative accounts, and transcripts of real therapy and counseling sessions to provide a comprehensive primary look at the experience of mental illness, counseling, and therapy.

The reference works included in the collection are all published by SAGE Publications, Inc., and were selected by SAGE editors as most relevant and useful to practitioners in the field.

Selection of the first-person narrative accounts were guided by our editorial advisors and by leading scholarly bibliographies, including:

  • Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness in English (3rd edition), edited by Gail A. Hornstein (South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 2005. Available at: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/assets/Academics/Hornstein_Bibliography.pdf.)
  • Autobiographies of Former Mental Patients, edited by Robert Sommer and Humphry Osmond (Journal of Mental Science volume 106, 1960: 648-662).
  • Autobiographies of Former Mental Patients: Addendum, edited by Robert Sommer and Humphry Osmond (Journal of Mental Science volume 107, 1961: 1030-1032).
  • A Bibliography of Mental Patients' Autobiographies, 1960-1982, edited by Robert Sommer and Humprhy Osmond (American Journal of Psychiatry volume 140, 1983: 1051-1054).
  • A Bibliography of Mental Patients' Autobiographies: An Update and Classification System, edited by Robert Sommer, Jennifer S. Clifford, and John C. Norcross (American Journal of Psychiatry volume 155: 1261-1264).
  • A Mad People's History of Madness, edited by Dale Peterson (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982).
  • The transcript selection process was guided primarily by the editorial advisors and by direction from practicing therapists and scholars.

    Our editorial board:

    Mike Abrams, PhD.
    Partner, Psychology of New Jersey, Clinical Practice Adjunct Facility, William Paterson University, Department of Psychology
    Dr. Mike Abrams is a New Jersey psychologist and has practiced psychotherapy for more than twenty years. His orientation is Rational Emotive/Cognitive Behavioral, although he has had substantial psychoanalytic training. He is a fellow and certified supervisor of the Albert Ellis Institute and has co-authored two books and a journal article with Dr. Ellis. He teaches graduate students in the M.A. program in counseling in Fairleigh Dickinson University and is on the psychology faculty of William Paterson University.
    The linchpin of his approach is his absolute avoidance of moral judgments. Dr. Abrams has extensive experience working with people with mood (depressive and bipolar) disorders, anxiety disorders, and social conflicts. His experience also includes extensive work people in crisis. He has helped people in crises arising from such stressors as criminal charges, job loss, and sexual problems. His experience includes helping both men and women who have been sexually victimized or traumatized. Dr. Abrams has worked with people facing acute illness (he is the co-author of How to Cope with a Fatal Illness). His expertise also includes eating and intake problems (he also co-authored The Art and Science of Rational Eating). Dr. Abrams is currently co-writing a college textbook: Theories of Personality. He has published numerous journal articles on topics ranging from eating disorders to psychoanalysis.
    He has three advanced degrees in psychology including the PhD. After earning his PhD he completed a two year post doctoral program at the Albert Ellis Institute where he studied clinical applications of cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Abrams has received commendations from the Governor of New Jersey, the Hudson County Executive, and the Mayor of Jersey City for work with chronically ill, indigent, and disabled persons. He has provided mental health consulting to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, the New Jersey Division of Addiction Services, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and the Peer Review Organization of New Jersey.
    In addition to his remunerated clinical work, he has spent several years providing pro-bono work to persons with AIDS and the impoverished. He has received commendations from the Governor of New Jersey and the Hudson County Executive for his work with less affluent individuals.
    Dr. Abrams has taught undergraduate and graduate psychology at New Jersey City University, Brooklyn College, C.U.N.Y. and St. Peter's College.

    Charles Garvin, PhD.
    Professor Emeritus of Social Work, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Professor Charles Garvin's major interests are the development of effective procedures for all types of social work with groups and for the rehabilitation of individuals suffering from both a mental illness and substance abuse (i.e., persons with a dual diagnosis). His current research activities are related to these two foci. His group project is an examination of how different societies conduct programs for the amelioration of conflicts among youth groups based on ethnic, social class, or cultural differences. His rehabilitation project is on the development and testing of a family intervention for dually diagnosed individuals who are unmotivated for treatment. Garvin also has extensive international interests in social work and has recently worked with colleagues in Hungary, Poland, Macedonia, and Croatia. Other areas of research/scholarly interest: Interpersonal Practice; Interpersonal Violence.
    Charles Garvin has been teaching courses on group work for over thirty years. He was engaged in full-time group work practice for a dozen years prior to his teaching career, and has been in part-time practice since. He has consulted widely on the development of group services. He is the author of 3 editions of Contemporary Group Work, and 2 editions of Interpersonal Practice in Social Work (with Brett Seabury) and Social Work in Contemporary Society (with John Tropman). He is also the author of many journal articles and book chapters on group work topics such as the use of groups in correctional, mental health, community, and substance abuse fields. He is a board member as well as founder and past chairperson of the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups. In the School of Social Work, he has held such positions as doctoral chair, curriculum committee chair, multicultural committee chair, and chair of the Interpersonal Practice program.

    Morley D. Glicken, ACSW, MSW, MPA, DSW
    Professor Emeritus
    California State University San Bernardino, Executive Director, The Institute for Personal Growth: A Research & Training Cooperative
    Dr. Morley D. Glicken is the former Dean of the Worden School of Social Service in San Antonio; the founding director of the Master of Social Work Department at California State University, San Bernardino; the past Director of the Master of Social Work Program at the University of Alabama; and the former Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Greater Tucson. He has also held faculty positions in social work at the University of Kansas and Arizona State University. Dr. Glicken received his BA degree in social work with a minor in psychology from the University of North Dakota and holds an MSW degree from the University of Washington and the MPA and DSW degrees from the University of Utah. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Fraternity.
    Dr. Glicken published two books for Allyn and Bacon/Longman Publishers in 2003: The Role of the Helping Professions in the Treatment of Victims and Perpetrators of Crime (with Dale Sechrest) and A Simple Guide to Social Research; and two additional books for Allyn and Bacon/Longman in 2004: Violent Young Children and Understanding and Using the Strengths Perspective. He published Improving the Effectiveness of the Helping Professions: An Evidence-Based Approach to Practice in 2005 for Sage Publications and An Introduction to Social Work, Social Welfare Organizations, and Social Work (Sage 2006).
    Dr. Glicken has published over 50 articles in professional journals and has written extensively on personnel issues for Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal. He has held clinical social work licenses in Alabama and Kansas, and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. He is currently Professor Emeritus in Social Work at California State University, San Bernardino, and Director of the Institute for Positive Growth: A Research, Treatment and Training Institute in Palm Springs, California. The Institute's website may be found at: http://www.morleyglicken.com and Dr. Glicken can be reached online at mglicken@msn.com.

    Rick Houser, PhD.
    Professor & Chair
    Department of Counseling & School Psychology, University of Massachusetts
    Dr. Rick Houser is Professor and Chair of in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in research methods. He has taught ethics to graduate level counseling students for over ten years. Dr. Houser has authored and co-authored several books addressing issues such as research and counseling and the role of group affiliation and power. Additionally, much of his scholarship focus includes the intersection of social identity, social comparison and social dominance theories. Dr. Houser is a member of the American Counseling Association. He holds licensure in Mental Health Counseling and national certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, CRC.

    Sara Schwarzbaum, Ed.D., L.C.P.C
    Associate Professor
    Master's Couple & Family Counseling
    Counselor Education Dept., Northeastern Illinois
    Dr. Sara Schwarzbaum is a family therapist with specializations in working with Latinos. Dr. Schwarzbaum has a degree in clinical psychology from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her doctoral degree in counseling with an emphasis in family therapy from Northern Illinois University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the department of Counselor Education and Coordinator of the Master's in Couple and Family Counseling Program at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where she teaches internship, family therapy and couples' therapy courses. Formerly, she coordinated the Latino Family Counseling Program of Lake County, Illinois where she provided services for Latino families and trained bilingual clinicians. She is also a family therapist in private practice in Lincolnshire, Illinois and a consultant, trainer and presenter at state and national conferences, mental health centers, hospitals, community agencies and universities where she frequently conducts workshops on clinical issues with Latino clients, the multicultural competency of clinicians, psychotherapy with immigrant families, ethnocultural countertransference and many others.

    Anita Thomas, PhD.
    Assistant Professor
    Counseling Psychology
    Loyola University
    Dr. Anita Jones Thomas is a counseling psychologist with specializations in multicultural counseling and family therapy. Dr. Thomas received her bachelors degree in human development and social policy from Northwestern University, and a masters degree in community counseling from Loyola University Chicago. Her doctorate in counseling psychology was received from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Thomas is associate professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, where she teaches courses in multicultural issues, family therapy, professional identity, and ethics. Her research interests include racial identity, racial socialization, and parenting issues for African Americans. She has also conducted training seminars and workshops on multicultural issues for state and national professional organizations in counseling and psychology, hospitals and corporations, as well as served as a consultant for human service organizations. Dr. Thomas has served as a governor for the Illinois Counseling Association, president of the Illinois Association for Couples and Family Counseling, and corresponding secretary for the Association of Black Psychologists, Chicago chapter.

    Sarah M. Toman, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Cleveland State University
    Dr. Sarah Toman (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Kent State University, 1995) is a graduate of the three-year post-doctoral Gestalt Training Program at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She serves as Secretary for the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy. She has been teaching an advanced graduate Gestalt Therapy course at Cleveland State University, where she is an Associate Professor of Counseling, Administration, Supervision and Adult Learning. Dr. Toman serves as Research Chair for the National Career Development Association, has published articles and book chapters, and has offered over 30 presentations at State, National, and International conferences. With Kathryn MacCluskie and Elizabeth Welfel, she is a co-author of the book, Using Test Data in Clinical Practice (Sage 2002).

    Linda A. Wilmshurst, Ph.D., ABPP
    Associate Professor
    Department of Psychology
    Elon University
    Dr. Linda Wilmshurst received her doctorate from the University of Toronto after working for 15 years as a psychological consultant for a major metropolitan school board. Since that time, she has held numerous concurrent academic and practitioner positions: Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario; Psychologist at the Provincial Residential School for Severely Learning Disabled Youth; Consultant to Thames Valley Children's Center (a rehabilitative center for children and youth); and Senior Psychologist at Madame Vanier Children's Services (a children's mental health center), all in Ontario, Canada. She has taught in the Psychology departments at the University of Houston-Victoria, Texas Woman's University and is currently an Associate Professor at Elon University in North Carolina where she teaches courses in Child Psychopathology, and Psychology in the Schools and mentors undergraduate research focusing on resilience, self concept and time perception in college students with Attention Deficit Disorder. She is a Diplomate in clinical psychology, and is a licensed psychologist and school psychologist in North Carolina. She is the author of a number of books, including Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: A Casebook (2nd Ed); Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective; Essentials of Child Psychopathology; and The Complete Guide to Special Education (2nd Ed.) and A Parent's Guide to Special Education which she co-authored with Alan Brue.

    3. How to Contribute Materials to Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works

    Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works seeks full text of therapist-client conversations that use various treatment methodologies (behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, gestalt, humanistic, psychodynamic, rational-emotive therapy, and others). Transcripts can deal with any condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, eating disorders, and many other conditions. Selected audio or video excerpts can accompany the transcripts, providing a valuable window into the nuances of the process and the experience of therapy. Text transcripts should be submitted in electronic format to Susan Gay, Editorial Consultant, at callfortranscripts@sagepub.com. Text should be double-spaced, and should be in Word or similar text format. If client names have not been made anonymous, please note that on the first page of the text.

    We cannot accept anything in a PDF file. If you have accompanying audio or video recordings, please do not send them now, but include a note of their existence with the text that you submit.

    Please include the following information along with your transcript: 1. Approximate date of session(s) - include month/year 2. The number of sessions the therapist had with this client 3. Which session is being submitted (i.e. 10th session out of 20 total).

    Submission to Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works implies that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere in substantially similar form or with substantially similar content, nor is it under consideration by another publication.


    4. Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank the many practitioners and academics who aided in the development of this database, as well as the many authors, publishers, and other copyright holders who contributed to the collection. In addition, the following people were instrumental in the development of the collection:

    At Sage Publications, Inc.:

    • Susan Gay
    • Sheenagh McCarthy
    • Alison Mudditt
    • Carol Richman


    At Alexander Street Press:

    • Pat Carlson
    • Peter Cooper
    • Graham Dimmock
    • Andrea Eastman-Mullins
    • Michelle Eldridge
    • Sara Gibney
    • Michael Kangal
    • Stephen Rhind-Tutt
    • Andrew Schenkelberg
    • Maura Walz
    • John West III
    • Will Whalen
    • Ning Zhu


    5. Subscription and Trial Information

    Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works is available for one-time purchase of perpetual access, or as an annual subscription. Please contact us at sales@alexanderstreet.com if you wish to begin a subscription or to request a free 30-day trial.

    6. Technical Support

    You can contact us by:

    When reporting a problem please include your customer name, e-mail address, phone number, domain name or IP address and that of your web proxy server if used.


    7. Errata

    Our intention is to have a database without errors. We appreciate all suggestions for improvements, and those who report factual errors.

    To report factual errors or to suggest improvements, please email the Editor at editor@astreetpress.com. Please include the author, the document, and the page number. Please also include your email address, so that we can let you know the status of your correction.


    8. Copyright Statement

    All materials in the database are protected under U.S. and International Copyright Law. Fair use under the law permits reproduction of single copies for personal research and private use. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of protected items requires the written permission of the copyright owners.


    9. Archiving

    Texts produced for Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works are considered research materials and receive the same level of stewardship as books, paper documents, and photographs. Once complete, copies of the database will be given to all purchasing institutions, so ensuring that the materials are available to subsequent generations.


    10. Catalog Records

    MARC records are available for this collection.

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