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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Experienced, master psychotherapists share their failures in therapy and what they learned about themselves and their clients in the experience. The material in the book was gathered through phone interviews and specific questions structured the process.
Purpose: According to the authors, "The major premise of this project was that if we could get the most prominent practitioners and thinkers in the field to talk about their worst work, then perhaps this would create a forum for others to discuss their lapses, mistakes, misjudgments, and failures more openly and constructively." These are very worthy objectives, which the book meets.
Audience: The authors really do not say whom the target audience is. However, I believe that all psychotherapists would benefit from this book, regardless of level of experience. Graduate students would benefit as well because it is never too early to learn from the mistakes of others. The authors and contributors are more than credible authorities in the field. They are the experts, the movers and shakers in the field of psychotherapy research and practice.
Features: The book covers informal discussions with expert psychotherapists who focus on mistakes they have made in clinical practice. These experts come from different theoretical orientations. They seem to be very honest in their assessment of their shortcomings and give suggestions for what they could have done differently.
Assessment: The book is simply delightful. The contributors, well-known experts in the field, are very candid and it is obvious that they have reflected on and learned from their mistakes. It is very readable and enjoyable. I found myself not being able to put it down. It is a book that you can easily learn from and I believe it should be required reading for courses in psychotherapy.