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Aesthetics of Change Paperback – July 22, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1572308305 ISBN-10: 1572308303 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy
  • Paperback: 217 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (July 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572308303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572308305
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Written almost 20 years ago, Aesthetics of Change is a classic in the field of family therapy. It has aged well. The notions it so intricately spins forth are still vibrant, still vital for therapists and students who want to learn to think systemically--wisely--about the context and practice of therapy. Readers will appreciate Keeney's firm, yet relaxed, grasp of Bateson's ideas, his clear explanations, and his sense of irreverence."--Douglas Flemons, PhD, Professor and Director, Brief Therapy Institute, Nova Southeastern University, and author of Of One Mind

"An astounding, clear, and brilliant exposition of cybernetic epistemology. A major contribution to understanding family therapy!"--Luigi Boscolo, MD

"A persuasive work which will help make the elusive concepts of epistemology and cybernetics accessible to the psychotherapeutic community."--Mary Catherine Bateson, PhD

"Family therapy has been an endeavor in search of a theory. Keeney's book fills in that all-important superstructure that every field needs in order to achieve its own conceptual framework."--Lynn Hoffman, MSW

"Aesthetics of Change is really the Rubik's cube in book form. There are six chapters of different colors which can be rotated around a conceptual inner core to create an almost infinite variety of patterns. It's fun and exciting!"--Carl Whitaker, MD

"Aesthetics is a handbook of [cybernetic ideas] relevant to the clinician with an emphasis on helping the clinician understand the therapeutic context in which he participates and influences....Encourages us to reach for a more poetic, aesthetic approach to our thinking about and dealings with our clients....The argument made that is persuasive is that cybernetic thinking can indeed enhance a therapist's chances of untying the knots of mental process embodied in the stories and experiences clients and therapists construct."--AFTA Newsletter
(AFTA Newsletter 2002-07-24)

"This is a rare text which deals unashamedly with complex theoretical issues in a way that relates directly to practice. It is unlikely that anyone who reads this with an inquiring mind will fail to be influenced in their practice."--Journal of Family Therapy
(Journal of Family Therapy 2002-07-24)

About the Author

Bradford P. Keeney, PhD, has worked at some of the most respected psychotherapy centers in the United States, including the Ackerman Institute in New York City, the Karl Menninger Center in Topeka, and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. He has served as Director of clinical doctoral programs at Texas Tech University and Nova University, and as Director of Scholarly Studies at the University of St. Thomas. He is the author of numerous classic works in the field of family therapy.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Keeney's unique understanding of cybernetics and human systems is presented in this scholarly work. Here, Keeney attempts to bring the wisdom of Gregory Bateson to working with families and other interactional systems, and it remains a classic in the field of family therapy. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to work outside the normal skull-bound explanations of human experience -- although it may be a mental stretch, it is well worth the resulting wisdom that results from working with both the pragmatic and the aesthetic ("the patterns that connect"). Frank Thomas, PhD
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthew E. Hinton on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Want to learn about cybernetics and systems thinking? Start right here with Keeney's Aesthetics of Change. With a couple of read throughs and some thought, you will be well on your way to comprehending an interesting subject. AFter reading this book try some of Bateson's work!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The beauty of this book is that the framework Keeney constructs for problem understanding can be applied to any problem area (not just family systems therapy). It's easy to spew out some cliche` about the book being life-changing or whatnot, but in this case it really is the truth.
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More About the Author

Professor Bradford Keeney, PhD, is an internationally renowned scholar, author, and therapist. He is presently Hanna Spyker Eminent Scholars Chair in Education and Director, Institute for Creative Transformation and Virtual Pedagogy, University of Louisiana, Monroe, and President, Louisiana Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

As a fieldworker, Keeney has been called "the Marco Polo of psychology and an anthropologist of the spirit" by the editors of Utne Reader. As the author of over thirty-one books, Keeney presently is practicing and teaching what he has learned from the arts and sciences across diverse cultural traditions to help individuals, couples, and families transform their challenges and suffering into growth and more meaningful lives.

Apart from his work with the Kalahari Bushmen, he has served distinguished careers that span and connect the disciplines of social cybernetics, anthropology, and therapy. He has extensively researched and published information about various healing traditions around the world.

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