A Perilous Calling: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.63
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $9.63   
  • New (7) from $10.08   
  • Used (7) from $9.63   


What are the consequences of prolonged exposure to the mental and emotional sufferings of others? In what ways can the practice of psychotherapy impede a person's ability to form healthy, fulfilling personal relationships? Is it true that psychotherapists are unusually prone to mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual acting out, workaholism, and suicide? Is there something about people who are drawn to a life in psychotherapy that puts them at higher risk of developing certain behavioral disorders?

Now in a candid and revealing look into the private and professional lives of psychotherapists, a group of noted practitioners attempt to answer these and other hard questions about the women and men who pursue this most perilous of callings.

Throughout the pages of this fascinating book, nearly thirty psychotherapists—including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and social workers—provide intimate, at times painfully frank, accounts of their inner experiences and struggles. In a series of compelling first-person narratives, written in a variety of styles, they explore such topics as the therapist's personal development and unconscious motivations for becoming a therapist, the emotional impact of clinical work on the psychotherapist, the stresses and strains that the practice of psychotherapy can exert on a marriage, parenting and psychotherapy, disillusionment and the physical and psychic isolation of clinical work, the struggles of therapists who suffer from characterological problems of their own, and the extreme perils of dealing with suicidal patients. They also delve into a number of important professional, ethical, and legal hazards practitioners face in this age of the medical "quick-fix."

A Perilous Calling offers readers unparalleled insight into the psychotherapist's deepest concerns and conflicts. It reveals the perils of practice and candidly explores how some psychotherapists have learned to cope with them. In reading this book, professionals will learn how to take better care of themselves both in their professional and personal lives and will find new ways to transform those perils into opportunities for growth and mastery. At the same time, their patients, friends, and loved ones will gain a deeper understanding of these complex and uniquely caring individuals.

Incl. accounts by nearly 30 psychotherapists of their inner experiences & struggles/discusses strains on marriage, etc.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471056577
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/3/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

About the editor

MICHAEL B. SUSSMAN, PsyD, is Clinical Supervisor at Codman SquareHealth Center, Dorchester, Massachusetts, and a clinical instructorin psychology at Harvard University. Dr. Sussman spent three years(1990 to 1993) as a staff psychologist at Stoney Brook CounselingCenter in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and was a postdoctoral fellowat the Menninger Foundation, from 1988 to 1989. He holds adoctorate in clinical psychology from Hahnemann University, and abachelor's degree in music composition and performance fromHampshire College. In 1987, he received the Randall B. Weiss Awardfor compassion and caring in clinical work. Dr. Sussman is also theauthor of A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for PracticingPsychotherapy.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Partial table of contents:


Intimations of Mortality (M. Sussman).

Therapist in the Combat Zone (E. Tick).


The Journey of the Characterologic Therapist (N. Shub).

Making Room for Illness in the Practice of Psychotherapy (K.Munn).


Public Exposure of Shame in the Group Leader (R. MacNab).

AIDS: The Therapist's Journey (M. Shernoff).


Psychotherapy with Therapists: Countertransference Dilemmas (N.Bridges).

The Hazards of Treating Suicidal Patients (D. Jobes & J.Maltsberger).


The Importance of Risk Management in a Managed Care Environment (E.Harris).

Female Therapists and the Search for a New Paradigm (J.Jordan).


Prevention: Avoiding Burnout (W. Grosch & D. Olsen).



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)