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Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On without Wasting Time or Money Paperback – October 2, 2009

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A licensed mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of anxiety and addiction, Zwolinski (with help from coauthor C.R.) steps back to take a broad view of the therapy industry, and the growing problem of patients caught in the "therapy trap" by unproductive, inept or unethical therapists who "wallop" a client with inaccurate or exaggerated diagnoses in order keep that client coming back. In this guide to hiring "a great therapist," Zwolinski reminds patients that they should be "savvy consumers" when considering therapy, just as they would for any other important expense. He suggests a preliminary phone interview to check out prospective therapists' credentials, references, fee, approach, and other details. He also suggests that, after a few appointments, a patient work with his therapist to develop a written treatment plan, including a proper medical diagnosis (which can be looked up in a professional reference like the DSM IV), a general time-frame for the length of therapy, and agreed-upon "goals." Zwolinski's provocative call for a "therapy revolution" is authoritative and instructive, fleshing out the common wisdom stating patients are their own best advocates, and must be proactive in all aspects of healthcare.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A valuable resource for patients and practitioners alike, setting the standard for therapy and counseling practice. If you know anyone considering therapy, or who is unhappy with their therapist, make sure they read this book." 

―Tom Butler-Bowdon, author of 50 Psychology Classics and 50 Self-Help Classics

(Tom Butler-Bowdon)|

"I cannot express how grateful I am that the authors have written this book. This kind of integrity and honesty is sorely lacking in our twenty-first-century culture . . . The authors have given practical, common-sense applications for every stage of therapy from beginning to end and beyond. Perhaps one of the tests for finding a good therapist will be that they have this book in their bookshelf―a true testimony of their self-confidence and humility! This book is a gift to the world!"

―Mother of Therapy Patient, WA

(Mother of Therapy Patient)|

"The Therapist Phone Interview worksheet that patients can fill in before they hire a therapist is worth the price of the book alone. I would still be stuck in 'Hit and Stay' therapy if not for Therapy Revolution." 

―Therapy Patient, NYC, NY

(Therapy Patient)|

"Therapy Revolution is a wonderful guide to assist therapy patients and their families in choosing the most excellent therapist and receive the help they need."

Waltraud Prechter, Founder of the Heinz C. Prechter Bi-Polar Research Fund at the University of Michigan Depression Center

(Waltraud Prechter)|

"As a psychiatrist, I know how important it is to work with experienced and ethical psychotherapists. Therapy Revolution is an eye-opener―it shows what can go wrong in therapy and how to avoid it. It really gives the reader tools with which to evaluate a therapist and get the best care possible without wasting time or money. I highly recommend this book to patients, their families, to psychotherapists, and to anyone who must make a referral to a therapist." 

Lyubov Gorelik, MD, Psychiatrist; Board Certified in General Adult and Addiction Psychiatry, NY, NY

(Lyubov Gorelik)|

"Although I am angry that I wasted years in therapy with a therapist that raised almost all of Richard Zwolinski's red flags, I'm glad I finally got some good advice. Now I have a therapist that is really helping me." 

Therapy Patient, Chicago, IL

(Therapy Patient)|

"Don't let its accessible language fool you―this book is packed with salient information rooted in a solid sense of ethics. As the medical director of a psychiatric hospital, I believe that this book not only has an important place on the shelf of therapy patients but would also be valuable reading for any professional, instructor, or student in the fields of mental health and addiction. Therapy Revolution will likely be relevant for years to come."

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., CEO and Medical Director, Holliswood Hospital, Holliswood, NY (Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D)|

'This book has been an ambitious undertaking. And, well worth the effort! It is methodical, well structured, thorough, and easy to understand. The metaphors and analogies are superb, and help greatly in clarifying the ideas the authors wish to convey. 'As a retired clinical psychologist with many years of clinical experience, I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that it will be useful not only to those who are eager to find a competent psychotherapist and a better understanding of what psychotherapy is all about, but even to practicing psychotherapists.'

―John Hoffman, Ph.D., Retired Clinical Psychologist, Formerly of Veterans Administration Center, Buffalo, NY

(John Hoffman, Ph.D)|

'Timely! The public needs a book like this. Richard and C.R. Zwolinski have accomplished their task with clarity, thoroughness, and passion. This book will help you pick a competent therapist and receive the treatment you need and deserve. Not only a must-read for the intelligent consumer, but a practical guide and useful resource for the therapist as well!'

John Eppolito, Clinical Psychologist Illinois Youth Center, St. Charles, Illinois

(John Eppolito)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (November 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075731418X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757314186
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,680,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Therapy Soup on

(Learn more about mental health, addiction, and read interviews with the country's top scientists, physicians, filmmakers and more).

Richard M. Zwolinski is the director of an outpatient addiction and mental health program. He's also a consultant to the behavioral health field, a psychotherapist and expert on mental illness and addiction. He is passionate about helping patients and their families get the care they deserve--without wasting time or money. In addition to his work with individuals he has worked with public and private schools, the criminal justice system, Fortune 500 companies, national athletic teams, the transportation industry, the health care industry, and others. He is committed to teaching others about Patient Rights and Advocacy,& Professional Ethics.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on December 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Therapy Revolution is a surprise. It is unlike any other book on therapy out there, probably because it is exposes both the good and bad things that can happen in therapy. It specifically tells you how to find a therapist, what to look for in a therapist, how to evaluate and choose a therapist, and what kinds of "red flags" to avoid. The book lists possible "red flag violations" and explains each of them with actual stories from real patients. I've heard therapy stories like these before, but always thought people were exaggerating. Well, now I know they're not. The message is you should pay attention as carefully to what therapist you hire as to what car you buy. Apparently there are some therapists out there who will keep people who don't really need long-term therapy paying for therapy for a long time.

I have to say I felt like some of the other reviewers didn't read the same book I did. I am not a doctor, I'm an electrical engineer and I think "trusting your gut feelings" or "instincts" is not the best way to hire anyone, especially when you are potentially spending a lot of money and are looking for relief from misery. I appreciated the practical side of this book. It suggested you interview a therapist over the phone first, and gave you a list of questions to ask. It tells you to pay close attention to how the therapist spoke to you and what to listen for. Were they respectful? Did they listen to you or did they just try to push you into signing up for a paid session? Did they have qualities you are comfortable around? The book was clear that a combination of careful research, being an "educated consumer", paying close attention to what the therapist was like, and even gut instinct are all needed to make a good decision.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
As far back as I can remember, therapy has been both controversial and fascinating to many people. As a career consultant, I frequently found myself referring clients to therapists. Partly I wanted to be sure I wasn't overstepping the boundaries of my knowledge. But mostly I realized that people who have relationship, anxiety or depression challenges are often in no position to begin a career change.

At the same time, some clients reported experiences with therapy that seemed bizarre. So I was hoping for a book I could use as a reference. This book definitely fills this purpose. If a client or friend were unsure about choosing a therapist, I would suggest starting here.

The book is well-written and well-organized. I can't assess the accuracy of the information because I'm not a mental health professional, but commonsense suggests many points are well-taken. For instance, it's pretty obvious that a therapist who dresses provocatively is not a good choice. Tony Soprano's therapist would have failed that test! The outcome measures would be helpful to anyone undergoing a change process, whether they're working with a therapist, coach, or meditation practice.

So why just 3 stars? This book just delivers a straightforward "party line." The author places a high value therapist credentials, but research has raised questions about the importance of credentials for many kinds of therapy. Additionally, a credentialed therapist can depart quite widely from his or her training and can use non-standard or ad hoc techniques. The book offers many examples of people who spent thousands of dollars with credentialed therapists over a period of months, with no results. The bottom line seems to be "caveat emptor" regardless of the credentials of the therapist you choose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Hellman on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mr. Zwolinski's book, Therapy Revolution, is a great reference book, and a must-read for professionals, clients, and even families of client's. The book is critical to understanding the therapy process. A simple read will educate the reader on the therapy process, provide insights and ideas to those looking for counseling help, and will help to orient those looking for help to the best possible professionals.

As a special education instructor with significant experience and knowledge (not to mention a degree or two!) in counseling children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and psychotic disorders, I feel this book is important for parents and even some older clients. Mr. Zwolinski's book identifies some of the pitfalls of therapy practice, how to avoid them, and how to find a professional that is experienced and is likely to help you. Even more important, this book provides a framework to orient clients to the therapy process. The book illustrates the "process" from step 1, all the way through to successful completion of a therapy program.

Without such a read, a potential client, family member, or support person might not have the knowledge or know-how to support a person through their therapy program. This book provides the insight and tools one needs to have before setting out on a therapy program.

The book is concise, clear, and an easy read. Paragraphs and chapters are well organized, and easy to follow. This book should become a go-to-guide for those seeking a successful therapy program. most importantly, it's reasonably priced! Highly Recommended.

Mara Hellman, MA, Ed.
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