Just finished this fantastic book - what an eye opener! I bought it as thought would be helpful to my role as GP (who has never been brave enough to have online identity - look at me now: inspired to write amazon review for first time ever) and educator (this book has already fuelled many heated debates with colleagues and trainees) BUT best of all this book is hugely useful personally to me as mother to teenager who exists more on line than off - I'm starting to understand the pressures and pitfalls of maintaining an on-line persona. A balanced, informative, well crafted and enjoyable read. Massively useful resource.
While tough going in parts this book is essential reading for all those who are practicing talking based therapies in the 21st century. The ubiquity of technology, social networks and ICT based communication is of great import to the field of psychotherapy and a subject that is, in general, skirted around or, at worst, ignored - both in individual or group practice and in the academic field. I hope The Psychodynamics of Social Networks marks a pivotal moment in the field of psychotherapy, one where our conversations move from the 20th (or even the 19th) century and are placed in, and have full regard, for the reality of the connected world we all now live in.
This book is right on the money with its topic and I was, and remain, very pleased to have found it. It serves as a solid investigation of how social networking integrates into existing psychotherapeutic models. The references are frequent and useful, although with a reliance on quoting and an absence of research.
Some chapters are much better than others. In general the first half and the conclusion were very engaging with a definite low point in between. During the weaker points, the book becomes overly complicated and dry with too much emphasis on convoluted sentences and theories.
I'll be checking out for more books by Balick; while his accessiblity could improve a little, his thinking is way ahead and that's mighty impressive
Occasionally the psychodynamic terminology becomes too opaque (for me) but generally this is a hugely interesting and insightful account of the relationship between the omnipresent effects of social networking and the possible counteractivity of face-to-face hour-at-a-time even-just-weekly therapy. It's led me on to other relevant and possibly more accessible reading from Sherry Turkle, etc.