|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Mice and MetaphorsOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePlato, Not Prozac!Psychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Toward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?
by Michael Kerman (Editor)
W. W. Norton, 2009
Review by Mark Welch, PhD on Jul 27th 2010
The idea of a master class, a forum in which experts reflect at length and pass on a distillation of their accumulated practice wisdom, is not new, although it may be more familiar in the arts than in psychotherapy. However, that is to some extent what this book is. 21 psychotherapists speak about personal approaches to therapy and offer pearls from their experience.
It is not a daunting book, and is structured in an accessible way. There are seven sections, eight if you count the concluding reflection on the therapeutic experience, each with a number of authors. Most of the major areas of clinical practice are covered, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, children, couples and so on, and each contribution follows a set pattern. First is the pearls, a brief listing of three clinical pearls based on personal reflection and feedback the author has received often, a concentrated version of many years of practice. then each author gives a case example, a presentation of a case that best exemplifies the "pearls" in action. They also offer an analysis, a sort of commentary - why they did what they did and what they thought about it then, and now. Finally, each author provides a series of concluding remarks about the preceding material and offers readers a sense of their thinking behind their clinical work, and how this approach might be integrated into other people's client work.
It is not a book to read cover to cover, but rather one that from time to time can be dipped into. It is not academic in tone, and although the chapters are referenced it is not heavy reading. The writers all seem to take a friendly, conversational approach. They use the first person, and will often discuss their own reactions to the therapeutic event, or engagement.
Most of the authors seem to have an interpersonal, psychodynamic and psychoanalytic bent. The authors do not really favor a behavioral method. There is little by way of pharmacology and no consideration of the treatment of psychosis. It is also focused on individual therapy (or perhaps couples or families) but not groups, and makes more use of therapeutic approaches than clinical trials or examined evidence.
The book comes out of Leading Edge Seminars (Michael Kerman, who edits the text is the founder), a private organization that provides education and training workshops for mental health professionals through North America. It is, to that extent, an in-house publication, and the selection of authors is also limited to those mainly from the private sector. It may also be said that the whole text has something of a North American flavour to it, both in style and content. It is not a text book, and it is not a complicated or dense read. It may have sections that are reaffirming to the beginning therapist, and it will guide and prompt rather than instruct. For experienced therapists it may be more confirming than illuminating, more of a prompt than a revelation, and for many it will contain a small vignette that has resonance.
© 2010 Mark Welch
Mark Welch PhD, British Columbia