- Hardcover: 195 pages
- Publisher: Meta Publications,U.S.; 5th Revised edition edition (1 Mar. 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0916990036
- ISBN-13: 978-0916990039
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Provocative Therapy Hardcover – 1 Mar 1989
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So much for trying to be empathetic!
Well there is an alternative way with dealing with this; Provocative Therapy. You could say that when your well-meaning intuition fails you, then try something counter-intuitive instead.
At face value "Procative Therapy" appears to break all the rules. Be sarcastic, be patronising, be egotistical. How can it possibly work?
Well if it didn't work Frank Farrelly would have been murdered by his patients a long time ago. Yet despite the anger and recriminations on one page - there quickly follows laughter and resolution on the next. It beggers belief, and yet it all makes sense.
Frank's continued survival is due to his incongruence. Despite all the anger in the exchanges he is not really believed.
This is a very funny book, and reading it is a therapy in itself.
I would say that Provocative Therapy should be read by everyone involved in therapy, but the book is not enough training in itself for everyone to dive right in.
The best person to be a Provocative Therapist would probably be an egotistical Shakespearian actor with a sense of the rediculous.
Frank Farrelly started his career in a secure psychiatric hospital in USA. He became an enthusiastic student of Carl Rogers and embraced unconditional positive regard with gusto. Provocative Therapy is an account of how Frank developed his own powerful approach to psychotherapy from the mistakes and Freudian slips in applying the Rogerian approach.
Briefly stated: no two people can occupy the same 'ecological niche' - or as one of my early teachers said, "the definition of an optimist is someone with a depressed friend."
Therapists are often taught to emphasise the positive and find their clients fleeing to the negative end of the line and holding tightly to the most pessimistic view of their situation. Frank learnt how to espouse the negative or bizarre pole, in a bright and compassionate tone, so that clients moved inexorably towards positive change.
My summary can't do justice to it. It's not a set of techniques and Frank is a deeply compassionate and ethical human being. He wouldn't use this approach in all situations.
Read the book, it's a ripping yarn and great learning material for any aspiring therapist, counsellor or coach.
Even better, find a workshop and see the man in action - he's wonderful.
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