Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Great resource on the therapeutic relationship
on April 27, 2009
I received an advanced copy of Mindfulness for Two, and it was a pleasure to read. I think it addresses the process of the therapist more deeply than any ACT book before it, and perhaps better than any clinical book I've read. I was really moved by the first chapter, "Coming Face to Face with the Human Condition," which acknowledges the ubiquity of human suffering and encourages the reader to embrace it, rather than reject it, in the service of being more closely connected to our therapy clients. There I was choking up while reading it on the elliptical machine at the gym. Not my favorite place for tears!
More than anything it's gotten me to pay attention to two things: the moment to moment processes of my clients in session (the pitch, tone, and pace, as Wilson says) and my own moment to moment processes. I think I've always been very good at recognizing and making good use of what my psychodynamic training called "countertransference" (which for me is defined broadly as any of my reactions in therapy), but Wilson has added a great new set of tools and conceptualizations for being right there with it and listening to it without necessarily responding. I have found myself more free in sessions to notice my immediate urges to act or not act, my own fusion, my own values, etc. At the same time, I've been far more acutely aware of my clients' facial expressions, tone of voice, etc., and I've been able to bring that noticing right into my work in the present moment with people. More and more I'm stopping and saying, "What just went on there?" I'm also more grounded in what it means to be "under
aversive control" (a behavioral conception of when fear is running the show), not just intellectually, but also experientially. I can feel it in sessions as aversive control shows up, both for myself and for clients. Totally cool.
In session, I've begun to notice things like the conceptualized self (in particular) that have escaped me in the past doing ACT work. I think I'm much more aware of the fine details of fusion, avoidance, conceptualized self, etc., in the moment to moment.
It is a great resource. I would highly recommend it to any one interested in ACT or better understanding the therapeutic relationship.