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10 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, thought-provoking, helpful.
The author has done a great job with a challenging topic - how to explain the process of psychotherapy, without dumbing it down, making it as accessible as possible without much jargon. It is a good introduction to people without any psychotherapy experience and even to those who have been in therapy for many years. I would highly recommend this book for people who are...
Published on January 2, 2012 by AssumePresume

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2.0 out of 5 stars Psychotherapy puppets
The book is a graphic depiction of a psychotherapy case of a man "James" who is a successful barrister who begins to steal for no reason. His kleptomania is explored by his therapist "Pat". Revelations occur and James is cured.

I read this thinking it would be an interesting comic and, as a comics fan of both popular and indie varieties, gave...
Published on July 11, 2010 by Sam Quixote


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, thought-provoking, helpful., January 2, 2012
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
The author has done a great job with a challenging topic - how to explain the process of psychotherapy, without dumbing it down, making it as accessible as possible without much jargon. It is a good introduction to people without any psychotherapy experience and even to those who have been in therapy for many years. I would highly recommend this book for people who are interested in therapy, before they go into therapy. It's proven elucidating and educative for me, both conceptually and emotionally, and I've (thankfully) been in therapy for the past 10 years.

To the reviewer who gave 2 stars for its over-simplicity, I'd like to comment that real therapy would NOT make a good read, or a good view, given that it can be painfully long, boring, last years to undo, or alleviate accumulated damage over someone's lifetime. So, yes, the scenarios described in the book are succinct, a somewhat simplified and idealized version of how therapy can play out successfully, given that it isn't Proustian or Tolstoy in length. As for the "puppet" and "cypher" comment, well yes, of course, this book is meant to be educational and not only entertaining. So it is missing the point entirely to compare it to, let's say, The Watchmen, which is entertaining and thought-provoking, but without an educational aim. The illustration is in the style of many western graphic novels - nothing extremely beautiful or lush (given the topic, it shouldn't be a lush style that lends itself well for fantasy-novels), but very apropos and helpful to illustrating the subject matter at hand.

I purchased this book while traveling in Seoul, and actually bought the book translated into Korean. And I was very impressed with its content and writing style, so much so that I am buying another one in its original source material, English. Another interesting thing the book does well - is its omniscient point of view. By omniscient observation, it lets us into the minds of both the therapist and the client, and shows the psychodymanic interplay between therapist and client. It demonstrates how both are human, how both can be petty and generous, helpful and obtrusive, how both hide the truth, but nonetheless, have a genuine intent to help and be helped. In reality, therapy can last many many years, and the ideal therapist very difficult to find, and sometimes it is stop and go, and balance and flow difficult to reach. While succinct in its form, Couch Fiction does well in representing a microcosm of successful therapy.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the subject of psychotherapy, interested in seeking therapy, or has a loved one in therapy. It will help you understand the process better, and hopefully with increased compassion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great waiting room material!, April 11, 2012
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Dr. Christine (near Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
Couch Fiction is a comic book-style narrative of one therapy case,with entertaining and detailed illustrations and charming (for an American) British colloquialisms. Beneath the dialog, it shows what both therapist and patient are thinking. What makes this more than a light read is that the story is accompanied by "footnotes" below it detailing the clinical and theoretical underpinnnings of what is going on in the therapy office.I put this in my waiting room and clients have found it a pleasant distraction while they wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool!, July 20, 2011
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
I initially bought this book after reading a few pages online. It was humorous, but serious at the same time. The full book did not disappoint. It is a great teaching tool for therapists as well as supervisors. It is going to be on my "must read list" for supervisees!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Twitterati love it, and so do I, December 30, 2010
This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
Ambitious in its aims, sweet in its depiction, pacey in its delivery... Perry's done what no one else has been able to do; dispel the mysteries of the psychoanalytic process, with a KAPOW! a GUFFAW! and an AHHHHH!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Therapeutic complexity simply put., December 30, 2010
This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
Therapeutic complexity simply put. This is a thoroughly enjoyable approach to illuminating the complex processes that happen in the consulting room. Well worth reading whichever side of the couch you sit, and whatever level of knowledge you have. Loved it and have shared it with friends, colleagues. Excellent, excellent, excellent!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, not so great artwork, June 26, 2014
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
This book was a good way to get into the mind of a therapist and learn and understand some of the reasons why certain interventions are chosen over other ones.Under each panel, there is text written by the author. The actual animation reallt didn't help with the story and didn't seem to add anything to what the author was writing. It seemed almost like the animator and the author weren't really collaborating in a way that added anything to the story. However, being that this is a one a kind concept book, it was pretty cool.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 11, 2014
This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this.

The graphic novel format and accompanying brief notes give an immediacy that make it easy to follow. I suspect that I retained and was reminded of more information relevant for practice than from many more weighty tomes. My orientation in psychotherapy is psychodynamic so it is only to be expected that I found this enjoyable and validating, but I’m certain that the simplicity of the format makes it a valuable read for all perspectives. I would have found a book such as this a godsend back in the late 1980s when I was struggling to get my head around applying David Malan’s “Two Triangles” in clinical practice, while trying to keep at bay the “Get it Right” monkey sitting on my shoulder. Although the accompanying notes are brief they have a real clarity, for instance I thought the succinct explanation of the spectrum of dissociation excellent.

Here are some extracts from the accompanying notes that I particularly liked. Please note that these do not necessarily reflect the text as a whole.

“The therapist in this story is not rigidly adhering to this theory. She is not a perfect therapist and there is no such thing”.
“She missed this. It does not matter. If it is important that a behavioural pattern be addressed, the client will invariably either demonstrate it again, or bring it up later on.”

“Here Pat is going too fast for James in looking for triggers for his behaviour. It would serve him better at this stage if she empathised with him more.”

“A lot of psychotherapy is about striving to make an effective non-shaming intervention, but striving for something does not mean you’ll succeed.”

“She also knows she should investigate the feelings behind the defensive behaviour. But Pat tends to go too fast so she disregards his possible discomfort and ploughs straight in.”

“When Freud and a patient made a breakthrough, they often paused for a celebratory cigar to let the realisation sink in, but that is not Pat’s style.”
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5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating, October 7, 2013
By 
Clark Johnson (Huntington, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
Informative insight into the very human dynamics of therapy. Revealed for me some of the possibilities of productive interactions with my therapist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's Another "Are You My Mother?" Psych in a Box, May 7, 2013
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This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
I don't recall if I reviewed here Alison Bechdel's culminating masterpiece, the graphic novel, Are You My Mother?
That's a textbook(in the footnotes) on the writings of pediatrician Donald Winnicott via Bechdel's autobiographical
comic of an ambiguous relationship(hers with her mom). Are You...? came after Fun Home, about Alison's father.

Couch Fiction is another textbook for the student of psychotherapy: What it should be(compared to what it is in practice),
in the footnotes of a different kind of relationship comic, the 30-something client with a 50+ therapist.
Look out below, Fifty Shades of Grey(!) for this subtle psychological thriller.

Great gift for professionals and friends in psychology.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Psychotherapy puppets, July 11, 2010
This review is from: Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy (Paperback)
The book is a graphic depiction of a psychotherapy case of a man "James" who is a successful barrister who begins to steal for no reason. His kleptomania is explored by his therapist "Pat". Revelations occur and James is cured.

I read this thinking it would be an interesting comic and, as a comics fan of both popular and indie varieties, gave this a try. Unfortunately it's not very interesting or well drawn.

First off, the "characters" never seem real but just cyphers for the author to put into situations that can put forward psychotherapy instruction. James: "I am beginning to resonate with the idea that an unacknowledged feeling can rule me, whereas I can have more control over the ones I know about." (p.96). Sort of hypothetical scenarios for demonstrative purposes with mannequins.

Furthermore, these scenarios feature footnotes that explain what's going on in the cartoon section, sort of a running commentary throughout. Because of this the comic never takes off as a story and heightens the sense that it is an introductory-type pamphlet on psychotherapy to those interested in it.

The book is basically if Freud's "Dora" was illustrated this would be it, drawn by a less talented Posy Simmonds or Gabrielle Bell. Possibly good to those with a passing interest in psychotherapy, but not a great comic and not a great read.
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Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy
Couch Fiction: A Graphic Tale of Psychotherapy by Philippa Perry (Paperback - June 15, 2010)
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