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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings



In psychotherapy, summarizing, or “summarising” if one favors British English, may be described as “accurately and succinctly reflecting back to the client, from time to time within and across sessions, the substance of what [he or] she has expressed.”


Regarding this concept, pages 36 and 37 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion encourages Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practitioners to periodically ensure that we have an accurate grasp of client presenting problems and to invite clients to summarize in order to remain on track concerning their interests and goals.


For instance, suppose I’ve been seeing client X for a few months. Together, we’re addressing what the individual defines as an “addiction to porn.”


Once understanding of, belief in, and practice of REBT is in motion, from time to time I will summarize client X’s problem so that we can remain focused on relevant factors associated with the issue at hand. This is important, because it’s easy to get sidetracked on other topics when in session.


As an example, during client X’s course of therapy, the person’s intimate partner may’ve initiated a physical separation and now my client needs to find other living accommodations. Summarizing is useful in order to determine which presenting problem is most germane for the work we do together.


After all, client X may not need to address porn use or abuse until a sufficient living situation is first established. Likewise, client X can use summarization of the REBT techniques covered throughout the course of treatment or management in order to better understand this clinical intervention.


In closing, summarization—the use of brief statements regarding broad topics addressed in psychotherapy—can help ensure that relevant problems are being addressed. Use of this helpful technique can also benefit clients in their lives outside of session, regarding clear communication and problem-solving strategies.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW





Counseling Tutor. (2020, October 11). Summarising in counseling. Retrieved from

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. 2024, January 16). Understanding, belief, and practice. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Mego-studio. (n.d.). Close-up of a young businessman having a work video call while staying at home. new normal lifestyle. business concept [Image]. Freepik. Retrieved from

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