Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books about psychotherapy, 20 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Hope And Dread In Pychoanalysis (Anywhere But Naxos) (Paperback)
I am not a psychoanalyst, however, I must say that this is without a doubt one of the most brilliant books to explore central concepts, issues, and challenges relevant to all psychotherapists. Mitchell was a truel an amazing thinker. He provides an excellent means by which to think about the impact and process of psychotherapy, asking the basic questions of what is it that the client needs, on the one hand, and, perhaps even more poignant, what is it that we as therapists actually "know" and by what means do we know. He places the "evidence based treatment" debate in an entirely more profound and useful light, questioning some taken for granted epistemological issues that we so often take for granted.

The very title of the book says it all: Hope and dread, and he does not simply talk about the client, but the therapist as well. It is powerful stuff to think about the therapeutic process as one of both hope and dread: we hope for change but we dread it as well. As clinicians, we have great hopes for our clients and yet we dread what we may learn about ourselves.

The relational paradigm is one that I only wish that I had been introduced to during my graduate training. A book such as this one should be required reading for all aspiring psychotherapists, and it is unfortunate that there is so much sectarianism in psychology that we do not talk between each other, when it would appear that there is and increasing convergence between paradigms.

What I like the most is his discussion on the self. Mitchell develops a powerful conceptual framework for making sense of the self, positing BOTH spatial (Cartesian) and temporal (relational)selves. His discussion of authenticity is refreshing in an age where such constructs are often deemed to be "quaint" or of fashion, when, indeed, they constitute key existential issues that are of central concern to many.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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