Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works

Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts brochure cover

"APEX Award of Excellence 2009" Winner! (Read the press release)

“This is a great resource. . . includes unique primary literature not easily accessed. Summing Up: Essential." –CHOICE

"This unique database of actual therapy and counseling transcripts will be on desiderata lists of many academic libraries supporting well-developed psychology or psychiatry programs." –Library Journal E-reference Ratings

"Best niche product. . . The materials in this category challenge traditionally buttoned-up scholarly expectations." –Library Journal Reference

Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works is a landmark database designed to provide students and professionals with an inside look at the realities of the client therapy session. It contains more than 2,000 transcripts of actual therapy sessions, 40,000 pages of first-person accounts, and 25,000 pages of major reference works. Included are diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, and personal memoirs along with the full text of the sessions themselves. All accounts are non-fiction, delivered in the first person and, where possible, contemporaneous.

The database opens a world of primary sources for therapists, clients, and students to explore and analyze. New methods of research in fields as diverse as anthropology, linguistics, and English literature are now possible.

Personal accounts by clients and records of their therapy experiences are not widely available, leaving researchers with only periodical articles and textbooks. But the journal and text materials present only case studies, which focus on proving a hypothesis or teaching a particular disorder, rarely offering the candid voice of the client. Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works fills the gap at last, bringing the value of primary narratives to scholars and practicing therapists alike.


The database is organized into three sections: Transcripts, Primary Accounts, and Handbooks and Reference Works.

Part 1: Transcripts

Previously unpublished transcripts of psychotherapy sessions provide the full text of therapist-client conversations, edited only to preserve anonymity. Users will find the transcripts of successful—and less successful—treatment sessions dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, eating disorders, and many other conditions.

The transcripts are provided by practicing therapists and adhere to the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Guidelines for use and anonymity. Selection is under the direction of an editorial board of distinguished practitioners and academics.

Client23: I haven’t learned anything in therapy
Therapist24: All right, I would have said, “That is typical of my unrealistic all-or-none thinking. To believe that I haven’t perfectly performed, I haven’t learned anything, is nonsense.” Do you see what I mean?
Client25: Yes

‒Excerpt of sample transcript 172. Anon. 35-year-old woman

Part 2: Primary Accounts

Primary narratives have great value for undergraduates as well as for practicing therapists. First-person accounts allow students to understand, appreciate, and feel empathy for those with disorders much more than textbooks do, and the narratives are more interesting and engaging.

Students of literature will find a rich vein to explore here. Patient narratives are a kind of protest literature, similar to slave narratives or witness testimonies. This literature explores the relationship between patient and doctor, reality and the imagination, sanity and madness. The database will also have relevance to anthropologists and to students of language.

Part 3: Handbooks and Reference Works

Thousands of pages of reference works published by SAGE complement and provide context to the primary sources. Users will be able to find quick encyclopedic entries, textbook case studies, and how-to material from leading professionals in the field. Click here to see a complete list of SAGE reference works included in the database.


A series of unified, controlled vocabularies, specially devised for the analysis of primary sources, allow searching across the entire database at once. Users can search for details and descriptions of experiences in ways never before possible, across a wide variety of symptoms and therapies, as well as by age, gender, family situation, and using many other fields. Transcripts can be searched by the number of years a therapist has been practicing and by specific therapeutic approaches. Each section of dialog has been indexed and resides at a permanent URL to make it independently citable.

Questions like the following can be answered quickly and easily:

  • Give me instances of the word "drink" in clients afflicted with PTSD.
  • Show me transcripts of sessions treating post-traumatic stress disorder in war veterans.
  • Show me all narratives since 1980 discussing the experience of electro-convulsive therapy
  • Find all uses of the word "numb" in accounts of loss or grief.
  • Show me casebook studies of treatment of anorexia nervosa in teenage boys.
  • Show me transcripts of sessions conducted by therapists with five to ten years of practicing experience.


The material is clustered around forty topical subject areas: Anger Management; Antisocial Behavior; Anxiety; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)–Adult; Borderline Personality; Chemical Dependence; Chemical Dependence–Relapse; Childhood Traumas; Chronic Pain; Cognitive Deficits; Dependency; Depression; Dissociation; Eating Disorders; Educational Deficits; Family Conflict; Female Sexual Dysfunction; Financial Stress; Grief/Loss Unresolved; Impulse Control Disorder; Intimate Relationship Conflicts; Legal Conflicts; Low Self-Esteem; Male Sexual Dysfunction; Mania of Hypomania; Medical Issues; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Paranoid Ideation; Parenting; Phase of Life Problems; Phobia-Panic/Agoraphobia; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder; Psychoticism; Sexual Abuse; Sexual Identity Confusion; Sleep Disturbance; Social Discomfort; Somatization; Spiritual Confusion; Suicide Ideation; Type A Behavior; Vocational Stress.


Counseling and Psychotherapy Transcripts, Client Narratives, and Reference Works is available on the Web, through one-time purchase of perpetual rights or by annual subscription. The collection contains more than 100,000 pages. Contact sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com or your sales representative for more info.