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The Mature Psychotherapist: Beyond Training and Ideology

: Wyn Bramley

Wyn Bramley presents a clinical memoir – which is simultaneously ‘light’ but serious – outlining all that happens (or fails to happen) that is not covered by books or training.    Wyn Bramley has worked in the mental health field for more than 50 years. In this book she invites experienced therapists and counsellors to consider becoming more self-directed practitioners. She advocates a coming together of the various disciplines as opposed to the old factionalism, believing that modern psychodynamic principles and concepts can be assimilated into all modalities. She takes old ideas in this field that have stood the test of time and places them, along with lively case material, in a contemporary context. She also brings us up to date with the latest Relational thinking, which readers may have missed in their training. Her central conviction is that mature therapists should dare to open up their own internal world to the work, so that the therapy is deeper and richer. She describes in plain, accessible language, and with clinical illustrations, how this may be accomplished.   Attention is given to the controversial issue of disorders of personality, the best way to do short term therapy in the NHS, the differences between couple and individual therapy, and how defence mechanisms and the developmental perspective operate in the consulting room of a modern self-reflective practitioner.   Wyn Bramley is semi-retired and runs a small private practice in rural Oxfordshire.  She is the author of The Broad Spectrum Psychotherapist and The Supervisory Couple in Broad Spectrum Psychotherapy, also published by Free Association Books. Read more…

Mad To Be Normal

: Robert Mullan

Re-released with a new introduction, and to coincide with a film of the same title (directed by the author), Mad To Be Normal is the memoir R. D. Laing never lived to write.  In the last two years of Laing’s life, he recorded hundreds of hours of conversation with Robert Mullan in which he was determined to be as frank and open as possible, and equally determined to ‘put the record straight’. R. D. Laing wrote a number of books during the 1960s which rocked the foundations of conventional psychiatry and galvanized the imagination of millions of ordinary readers. His views were against the grain of conventional psychiatry – his existential approach to madness was controversial, and his work brought into focus matters of individual liberty and the importance of the social context of ‘illness’. The greatest accusation he suffered was that he idealised mental misery – something he consistently denied. Mad to be Normal presents Laing’s own words, about his work and about his life.  It is the most complete record on Laing, by Laing.  Entertaining, maddening, surprising, impressive, occasionally scurrilous, and evoking a compelling portrait of the heady and sometimes self-regarding mood of the 1960s and early l970s, this books necessitates a reassessment of Laing and his work; work which is part of a lengthier and on-going process concerned with the routine care of those disturbed in mind. Dr Robert Mullan is a film director, writer, and producer.  He is the author of a number of books, including Are Mothers Really Necessary?, Social Workers: The Student’s View, and Moving Pictures: The Making of Letters to Sofija. Read more…

What You’ve Got Is What You Want – Even If It Hurts

: Adam Jukes

Intended for those who are troubled by their lives and want to make changes but don’t know where to begin, this is a book about relationships.  It is not intended as a self-help book, but as one which will encourage the reader to really think about themselves and the way they act – how their behaviour is driven by thoughts, feelings, and impulses of which they may not have any conscious awareness.   Jukes examines his ‘Mad Hypothesis’ – so called because it seems, at first glance, to be ‘mad.’  He has used it successfully in therapeutic work to refer to everything that is wrong in a patient’s relationship and even their life: “You are responsible for everything that is wrong with your relationship including any behaviour of your partner which you use to justify, excuse, or in any other way account for yo own behaviour towards him/her, or the world in general.”   The author draws on his vast clinical experience to explore this fascinating idea and looks at other related issues such as anxiety, sulking, masochism, and attachment.  He also includes many illuminating case-studies which perfectly illustrate his theories and make the text accessible to both clinicians and non-professionals.   Adam Jukes is recognised as one of the world’s leading clinical researchers on men’s abuse of women.  He has published widely in academic journals and teaches on many forensic psychotherapy training programmes.  He is a regular contributor to conferences on men’s violence and abusiveness to women and children. Read more…

Forensic Arts Therapies: Anthology of Practice and Research

: Kate Rothwell (Editor)

The field of forensic arts therapies is dynamic and diverse, and so this unique volume covers a fascinating range of work.  It brings together a collection of presentations given at FATAG conferences, case studies, research, new developments in theory, and explorations in the peculiarities of forensic arts therapies: art, music, drama, and dance.     Therapists work with male and female offenders in detained in prisons or secure health care units, or sometimes with patients involved in probation or counselling services, victim support, and other services and institutions concerned with understanding the causes and effects of crime.   The experiences described are often difficult, but also very rewarding for all involved.  Arts therapy (in any of its forms) regularly has a profound and beneficial effect on the life of an offender.  This thought-provoking and enlightening work gives an insight into how these skilled professionals have been a necessary part of UK forensic services for more than four decades.     The Forensic Arts Therapies Advisory Group (FATAG) is a voluntary organisation which aims to provide support, advice and opportunities for continuing professional development for arts therapists working in forensic or secure settings and trainee arts therapists on clinical placement in forensics.  FATAG provides a safe space to share difficult, complex and, at times, painful work not easily shared amongst a non-forensic audience. Read more…

The Supervisory Couple in Broad-spectrum Psychotherapy

: Bramley, Wyn

Qualified therapists, as well as trainees, are now required to be supervised by an experienced therapist. This book is designed to help those who are just starting out as supervisors and those who may have been supervising for many years. Wyn Bramley proposes an apprenticeship system of supervision that would enable all qualified therapists to get involved. She stresses the need for internal monitoring for both parties and provides a method for this self-supervision. Particular problems, such as supervisees with difficult personality traits are discussed. There are also chapters on the role of ethics and philosophy in supervision, and on clinical teaching. Throughout the book, real case material provides illustration of the author’s proposals, ideas and discussions. In order to fulfil the increasing demand for professional accreditation and registration of new therapists, most existing practitioners will have to become supervisors, a skill which in turn will doubtless become accreditable. This book is therefore a must for therapists with an eye to their professional futures. Read more…

Daseinsanalysis

: Alice Holzhey-Kunz

Daseinsanalysis—the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic school of thought founded by Ludwig Binswanger and Medard Boss in the 1940s—had a huge impact on the development of existential therapies in the English-speaking world. This highly stimulating and lucid book gives a critical overview of the daseinsanalytic concepts of Binswanger and Boss and explains their key differences despite the common reference to Freudian psychoanalysis and the Heideggerian philosophy from which daseinsanalysis took its name. The author gives a systematic account of a new approach to mental suffering based on Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Sartre that never loses sight of Freud’s fundamental insight into the hidden meaning of apparently senseless neurotic symptoms. She goes on to demonstrate that mental suffering is a ‘suffering from our own being’ and the mentally suffering patient is an individual overwhelmed by frightening experiences of the finitude and frailty of the human condition that can neither be suppressed nor tolerated. Finally, the author considers the therapeutic implications of the existential view of mental suffering and concludes that Freud’s three technical rules provide the optimal conditions for understanding and engaging with these baffling existential experiences. Alice Holzhey-Kunz, Ph.D. is a philosopher and daseinsanalytic psychotherapist in Zurich, Switzerland. She is president of the Society for Hermeneutic Anthropology and Daseinsanalysis and co-founder and co-president of the Daseinsanalytic Seminar in Zurich, where she teaches and supervises candidates. She has written three books and many articles on daseinsanalytic theory and on a new approach that combines psychoanalytic and existentialist perspectives. She is the co-editor of the new edition of Ludwig Binswanger’s selected works. ‘There are few truly thought-provoking books—this is one that draws on an extensive knowledge not only of daseinsanalysis but also psychoanalysis and 20th-century philosophy‘. Read more…

Why Psychotherapy?

: Herman, Nini

If you want to know what psychotherapy is, start here. For many people in psychological distress, the route is all too clear – a visit to the general practitioner, anti-depressants and, in severe cases, hospitalization. The distinction between that path and the experience of psychotherapy – especially psychoanalysis – is rarely clear. Nini Herman makes an eloquent plea for a different approach. She takes the reader carefully through the meaning the main figures, the issues and above all, the process of psychotherapy. This is the first book which carefully describes that process in truly accessible terms. Read more…

Comparative Treatments for Relationship Dysfunction

: Dattilio, Frank

This couples therapy text allows real comparisons among different approaches due to a standard structure across chapters involving an analysis of a single case. The book edited by Frank M. Dattilio and Louis Bevilacqua demonstrates a variety of interventions available for treating relationship problems. Treatment approaches are divided into psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural and integrative therapies. The volume presents 18 different treatment modalities for the same case, demonstrating a rich variety of interventions available for treating relationship problems. Treatment approaches are divided into psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral and integrative therapies. For students who want to prepare for licensure or professional counselors and therapists who want to improve their practice with couples. Read more…

Stress and Emotion: A New Synthesis

: Lazarus, Richard

A sequel to “Stress, Appraisal and Coping”, this volume by Richard Lazarus explores the latest findings and trends in research and theory. It focuses on the rationale for a cognitive-mediational approach to stress and the emotions, and distinguishes between social, physiological and psychological stress. Topics include: work and family stress; chronic stress; traumatic stress disorders; crisis theory and management; stress in special groups such as ageing and the aged; children and adolescents; the stress of dislocation and immigration; stress and infections; the role of the nervous system; author’s view of the recent changes in psychotherapy. Read more…

The Ethical Attitude in Analytic Practice

: Solomon, Hester; Twyman, Mary

For analysts and therapists, working in intimate clinical settings, ethics is at the foundation of professional life. Yet the various depth psychological models have yet to provide an understanding of the relationship between professional ethics in the clinical setting and the origins and developments of the ethical attitude in the individual. This work seeks to remedy this omission and brings together practising psychoanalytic psychotherapists and Jungian analysts to explore the impact of the ethical dimension on contemporary analytic theory and practice. The book presents a series of in depth studies all written by practising analysts with a particular interest in professional ethical matters. Among the issues discussed are: the ethical implications for the analyst contemplating and negotiating the stages of retirement; the pressures in the analytic relationship that may contribute to unethical enactment’s; the ethics involved in the sensitive area of publication and the dissemination of clinical material; and the ethical requirements for analysts working in the wider contexts of society, including mental health provision. In a climate in which analytic and therapeutic practice is highly scrutinised by the public and the media, “The Ethical Attitude in Analytical Practice” by Hester Solomon and Mary Twyman makes an important contribution to the place of ethics in analytic theory building and day-to-day clinical practice, and in the psychoanalytic understanding of wider social and cultural ethical issues. Read more…