Modern therapy has shifted its emphasis to focus on the interpersonal field and on "mutuality of influence." The therapist and the patient are now seen as participating in an ongoing feedback loop, with each influencing the other. This interpersonal focus has brought the therapists and their reactions more into the foreground. Experiences with patients can, in fact, have strong reverberations in practitioners' own lives and can be the cause or source of essential changes in the psyche of the therapist.
This book is the first to explore how efforts to work through issues in therapeutic relationships may permanently affect therapists' beliefs, feelings, and/or actions. The authors, all highly regarded senior clinicians, describe their own reactions and the types of changes that they went through as a consequence of their treatment of a particular patient. They do not make the therapeutic process seem artificially smooth and seamless. In probing their own struggles and difficulties, they illuminate the in-depth workings of the therapeutic relationship. The editors' introduction constructs a systematic framework within which to think about the changes the authors recount. Changes in the Therapist will be of compelling interest to all those involved in therapy.
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"Erika Fromm" (1909-2003) was professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Chicago; she was president of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, and the clinical editor of the "International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis" and associate editor of "The Bulletin of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis". She was also past president of the American Psychological Association psychological hypnosis division, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and American Board of Psychological Hypnosis.Review:
This very revealing and informative book examines the kinds of change that can occur in the therapist as a result of a relationship developed in therapy.
—READINGS: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health
This book is a welcome and important contribution consisting of personal stories about change and the reflections on the factors that may have influenced that process....Readers will find [it] to be stimulating and thought-provoking....This fascinating book has the potential to stimulate clinicians and researchers alike to learn more about the multitude of ways in which we are changed by...therapeutic encounters.
—American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis
....As Irvin Yalom reminds us in his excellent books on psychotherapy...it is a good therapist who can learn from the relationship with a patient, making it a bidirectional 'give and take.' The existential issues in psychotherapy are powerful ones. The challenge is to examine the obstacles to having an authentic relationship and remove them by being honest and open, using one's here-and-now reactions as fuel for the fire of therapy. This means modeling as well as promoting change, showing patients that you respect them enough to change with them. There is an old saying that 'It is a smart hypnotist that knows who is hypnotizing whom.' Smart therapists know how to grow with their patients. This book is thoughtfully put together and provides a broad range of well-described experiences from seasoned psychotherapists. Enjoy it and let it change you.
—David Spiegel, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine, From the Foreword
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