Therapeutic Improvisation: 


How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist


Michael Alcée, Ph.D.



Therapeutic Improvisation: How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist, book cover and description.

How to Help Our Clients (and Ourselves) Face The Changes 


  • With the lightning fast changes of life sped up by the pandemic, many clients feel like they are just winging it. They need us to teach them psychological improvisation - the art of 'reading the changes' - and they need it now more than ever. 
  • Therapists too are busier than ever before and struggle to maintain their own balance.  Working therapy as an artform, deeply knowing your own 'therapeutic voice,' and learning the art of therapeutic improvisation energizes, inspires, and protects us all from burnout. 
  • Even master clinicians like Irvin Yalom don't see themselves as artists, and yet what we do every day in sessions is no different than a great author, actor, composer, painter, or any other artist worth celebrating. It's about time we take more pride and credit for the artistry of our work and learn the neuroscience behind what makes it sing!  

Endorsed by Lori Gottlieb, Daniel Pink, Tal Ben-Shahar, and Nancy McWilliams and filled with movie scenes, cinematic clinical examples, references to music, literature, poetry, and art, Therapeutic Improvisation: How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist is a love-letter to our field and the arts.

"In refreshingly reader friendly prose, with an astonishing breadth of illustrations, he guides therapists to bring our whole selves into play (in several senses) in our clinical work. Alcee is the ultimate integrator, refusing to trap creative fields into departments or compartments. He riffs, likening therapeutic sessions to jazz sessions that honor improvisation in partnership with well honed technique. Whether you are an early career or seasoned clinician this book will enhance your work and refresh your spirit. Cherish it."  - Sandra Buechler, Ph.D. Training and Supervising Analyst, the William Alanson White Institute, author of Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living: Addressing Life’s Challenges in Clinical Practice (Routledge,2019).



Therapeutic Improvisation: How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist is available to pre-order internationally in print, kindle and audio versions from Amazon.










Michael Alcée, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in Tarrytown, New York, and mental health educator at Manhattan School of Music. He won the American Psychological Association’s 2019 Schillinger Memorial Prize for his essay on the link between jazz and psychoanalysis.

You can learn more about Dr. Alcée by visiting his website and Psychology Today blog and you can connect with him online via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.




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