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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tamara Goldman Sher, PhD (Rush Medical College of Rush University)
Description: This book notes the importance of therapist communication within the therapy context and makes recommendations for optimal therapeutic interventions.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to demonstrate how best to convey understanding of a patient to that patient for maximal therapeutic benefit, an often overlooked but extremely important issue in the therapeutic process. The author also presents his theory of psychological disorder and change called "cyclical psychodynamics.' The book went to great lengths in meeting this objective and pointing out the importance of all language in the therapy process."
Audience: The book is written primarily for clinical psychologists. In addition, graduate students will also benefit from reading the book. The book is written at an appropriate level for this primary audience but will appeal more to students of psychoanalytic theory than students with other orientations. The author is well-known in his field and has lectured extensively on his theories. He is a credible authority in the subject matter.
Features: The book contains no illustrations, figures, or tables. It deviates from a straight prose style only in the later chapters when therapy transcripts are introduced. The book may lose some audience because little mention is made of other work, especially in the cognitive behavioral area where there is considerable overlap with the issues presented. A big advantage of this book is its easy-to-read language.
Assessment: The book covers an important topic in a very attractive writing style. It is a subject that the author has spent a great amount of time researching. I had two overall problems with the book, though. First, the author displays a bias toward the psychoanalytic literature. Second, I would have liked to see more research cited and discussed. Perhaps the author made a decision to focus only on the clinical applications of his theory but research on related topics would have made his points that much stronger.