Finally, the cat is out of the bag! Therapists listen up. Some of the best therapists in our business are telling us what we need to hear. And we better listen if we plan to be relevant to our clients and of value to our profession. The Truth of therapy is revealed in this wonderfully well written book. The rules have changed indeed.
In the ancient days of therapist-dominated therapy it was assumed that somehow we would descend like golden eagles and eaglettes upon the unknowing psychotherapeutic prey also known as patients and/or clients. It was assumed that based on our clinical wisdom we would be able to direct and provide the kinds of interventions and/or techniques that would make a curative difference. All this without narry a need to truly include those to whom we are entrusted to provide hope, freedom, and maybe some healing and cure along the way. Add to this mix the push of managed behavoiral care and endearment of brief is better approaches to psychotherapy all in the name of the almighty dollar, and we may have lost our way on the yellow brick road and have descended into Alice's bottomless pit in search of the white rabbit and not even know it! Sound a bit much? Step back, and ask yourself, as a therapist--"when was the last time you used "common factors" to determine your treatment plans? when was the last time you asked your patient and/or client for "their" direction on the interventions and/or techniques used to attain the psychotherapeutic holy grail?" If these questions seem alien to your gestalt then be assured that there is help out of this mess. There really is a better wasy to do what we do. It has always been there, but we have meely walked passed it, ever in search of yet another method.
The truth is that our patients/client'/s interpretation of what is going on in our therapy, the therapeutic alliance, transfeerence and all that good stuff- still matters. And when we focus on "common factors" we will indeed have more effective interventions in our therapy. "Changing the Rules" presents both a develpmental and empiracal focus, which is most comforting. The text takes us on a very practical and needed journey starting with the initial interview with our patient/client, then on to the design and delivery of the various therapeutic interventions that can positively impact the go and flow of what our patient/client wants- which may or may not be what we want. This is not a therapeutic cookbook with all kinds of cutesie receipes for success. It is a realistic, hardscrabble analyis of what we may have been in denial of for too many years. The lights are back on. We are indebted to the authors for taking the time to do the legwork, the research to once again remind us all of the power and potential of the work we are all blessed to be in. Finally, what sets this book apart form others is the special sections on gender bias and ethics- so important to be aware of and modify -if these are "blind spots" in our practice. I would higly recommend this book to anyone who is involved in psychotherapy. There are lessons for the new and seasoned therapists. In future additions of this work, I would like to see more material on ethnicity and age as therapeutic factors between and among therapist and patient and/or client. This is a book you will read and re-read many times.It will not gather dust on a therapeutic shelf. Well written and well worth the read. Ira S. Katz, PhD- Clinical Psychologist-Soledad, California