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The Self Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation Hardcover – 20 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (20 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415520339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415520331
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 646,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Firestone, Firestone, and Catlett explore the struggle that people face in trying to differentiate themselves as unique individuals. How much of who one is is determined by one's own choices, voices, and volition? How much of who one is is influenced by the values, ideals, and beliefs of significant others from the past, among them parents? The authors describe (and richly contextualize with case studies) a therapeutic technique designed to assist people in separating their own voices from the voices of others from the past. It is important to note that the authors realize the influence of parents need not, necessarily, be the result of some specific action or statement a parent made but could be instead an interpretation of what the "child" believed the parent meant. This is not a treatise on the manner in which parents "ruin" their children. It is a look at how individuals can learn to separate out past voices that they unconsciously repeat and/or incorporate into their own voice and, hence, their own actions. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Professionals and practitioners; general readers."

R. E. Osborne, Texas State University San Marcos, CHOICE

"In The Self Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation, Firestone and colleagues express the existential view that individuals must differentiate their identity from those around them, and maintain an inclusive world-view. This text outlines a useful approach to uncovering these destructive processes in order to differentiate one’s identity and fulfill the underlying need for a unique self. Relying on philosophy, this book is dense and best suited for the academically minded, and specifically for practitioners with a bent for psychoanalytic theory."

Joshua D. Wright, Hunter College of The City University of New York, International Journal of Psychotherapy

"I noticed that I was pretty much divided when I read this book.  One part of me, the psychologist, absorbed the fascinating discussions and wonderful examples of the powerful voice therapy method.  The other part, my very essence, learned more about myself than I could ever have imagined.  When both of these parts come together, my Self is strengthened and I know I will be a much more effective therapist."

Violet Oaklander, PhD, author of Windows to Our Children: A Gestalt Therapy Approach with Children and Adolescents

"[These] authors are master therapists with a resonant message. Their voices are a beacon for eliciting humane personal excellence that frees enslaved psyches from fantasy ties that bind."

Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation

"At a time when much psychological practice is narrow in its focus, The Self Under Siege offers a deep and broad perspective on what it means to be 'fully human,' and how to get there. Bravo to Firestone and his colleagues, who have been in this endeavor for the long haul."

James Garbarino, PhD, Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology at Loyola University Chicago; author of Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience

"This is both a fascinating and ground breaking book for psychotherapists and patients with an interest in understanding destructive human behavior through the exploration of our 'critical inner voices. [It] never ceases to surprise and inform, an invitation to savor the joys of relationships whilst giving us the strength to cope with separation and loss."

Dr Felicity de Zulueta, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at the SLaM NHS Foundation Trust; Hon. Senior Lecturer in Traumatic Studies at KCL

"This rich book, full of important insights and moving examples, is recommended for therapists, for individuals, couples and families motivated to free themselves from the shackles imposed by the voices of the "enemy within".

Ayala M. Pines, PhD, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Management Ben Gurion University Israel; author of Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose

The Self under Siege is a timely and compelling exposition of Robert Firestone and his colleagues' cutting edge Separation Theory and Voice Therapy. A must read for clinicians, clinical researchers, academic psychologists, and anyone interested in better understanding human affairs.

Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Professor, Skidmore College; co-author of In the Wake of 9-11

"A meticulous and absorbing work of deep scholarship that describes our defenses against death anxiety and how they cripple the self and relationships. It supports its hypotheses with excellent end-notes, references, quotations, and patients’ poignant and inspiring testimonies"

J. Christopher A. Morrant, MB, BS, D(Obst) RCOG, DPM, FRCP(c)

About the Author

Robert W. Firestone, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author. He has been affiliated with the Glendon Association as its consulting theorist since its inception. His innovative ideas related to psychotherapy, couple and family relationships, suicide, parenting, and existential issues have been the inspiration and cornerstone of Glendon's research and many publications.

Lisa Firestone, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Research and Education at the Glendon Association. She also maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. Since 1987, she has been involved in clinical training and applied research in the areas of suicide and violence.

Joyce Catlett, MA, is an author and lecturer. Since 1979, she has collaborated with Robert Firestone on writing 12 books and numerous articles. She currently lectures and conducts continuing education workshops at universities and mental health facilities throughout the United States and Canada.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Rowan VINE VOICE on 25 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes I just despair at the parochialism of psychotherapy. I am so powerfully reminded of Freud's acute remark about "the narcissism of small differences", which is so evident in this volume. These people from the Glendon Association of Santa Barbara have developed a form of psychotherapy which they call "voice therapy", which recognises and uses the multiplicity normally found in people to set up internal dialogues for use in therapy. But they do not mention Gestalt therapy, Voice Dialogue therapy, Dialogical Self therapy, Narrative therapy or any of the many other forms of therapy which use such internal dialogues: they only mention their own work and that of their colleagues. Actually there is one exception to this. In footnote No.6 of Chapter 1 they do mention some of these, but then proceed to ignore them for the rest of the book!
Most of the work quoted in the case vignettes in this book was carried out in groups, but the authors do not make it clear as to whether they only work in groups or whether they also do one-to-one work. The extraordinary thing is that there are no dialogues in this book, no chairwork, no intercourse between the different voices which are elicited. Each voice speaks out into the void, or into the group, and then the therapist suggests what direction to take. This absence of information prevents any real analysis of what the therapists are doing. There are no reports of any input from other members of the group.
There are two useful chapters, one on family dynamics and one on mother-daughter relations, which are good academic jobs, nothing much about therapy.
But the worst thing about this book is its consistent negativity. Everything is a problem, everything is a fault, everything is bad.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Self Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation 24 Oct. 2012
By Helen Katherine Poole - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am familiar with and truly appreciate many of Dr. Robert Firestone's & CO.'s books, however, if someone is going to read just one... THIS IS THE ONE to read! It brings it all together in such a clear, insightful, informative, and interesting way- like a well crafted capstone on his important body of work.

Recently, I ordered another copy to give to my young adult daughters, because I felt there was so much compelling information and deep understanding about the differentiation process, that I wanted to share with them. I can't recommend this book enough, to both practitioners and the general public. It is sure to enrich and deepen your life and work.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book, clearly outlines how we internalize critical voices and how to overcome such 8 Jan. 2013
By Jimmymac - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The writing is clear, concise and insightful. I love the way Dr. Firestones explain the developmental introjection of parental and other figures. I picked up The Fantasy Bond too, but have yet to start it. Something about the directness of their writing resonates with me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Accessible and informative 21 Dec. 2013
By HelenKeith - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It puts forward a practical theory which can be applied both in and outside of a formal therapeutic setting. Provides many case studies. Is written in highly accessible language. I recommend it most heartily.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good book to help yourself and others 11 Mar. 2014
By a customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A really well-written book to tackle the problem of self-sabotaging. It is useful to improve yourself as a person and is good for counselling others too!!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As must book for helping others 7 July 2013
By Diana P. Kirtley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book full of ideas to help the healing process of others. Simple to understand and timeless in the world of counseling others
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