Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not So Advanced...., July 5, 2010
This review is from: Advanced Techniques for Counseling and Psychotherapy (Paperback)
Overall, I enjoyed this book and the author's relaxed and conversational writing style provided for an interesting read.

However, I would not consider this book to be filled with "Advanced" techniques. The first 60 pages are on "Basic Therapy" and 60 pages of a 200 page book is almost 1/3 of the entire thing. Not to mention that the Basic Therapy section seemed superficial and a bit like a stripped down outline of what you might have read in your first year of grad school for counseling. I think a book called "Advanced techniques" would not need to spend this much time going over these things.

The last 150 pages were good, but I would still not consider them to be advanced (or even intermediate for that mattter). Chapters 5 and 6 were essentially outlines of all the basic theories you also learned about in grad school -- an outline of very basic freudian, jungian, and CBT concepts such as defense mechanisms, ego, shadow and persona, and many of them with no clinical examples. This should not be considered advanced by any stretch of the definition.

On to the "advanced" part of the book -- I think the strongest points of this book were chapters 3 and 4 on creative and metaphorical interventions. The stories here and some of the interventions were well outlined with very nice clinical vignettes applying them.

Overall, the book's title is way way off and those looking for advanced techniques in psychotherapy should look elsewhere to a host of books with more thoughtfulness and depth. I think a lot of new therapists will enjoy this book though and those wanting to re-ground themselves in some basic concepts will enjoy the writing style and ease at which it is read. For me, the book lacked much depth and the "bite-sized" nature of how each technique was presented was short and sweet, but left me wanting for more depth and explanation.

4 stars for the chapters on creative and metaphor therapy, 1.5-2 stars for the rest.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2011 9:07:46 AM PDT
For what it's worth, I appreciated the book as "advanced" in comparison to all other techniques books out there, which are quite basic (I'm thinking Ed Jacobs' Creative Counseling Techniques). No other book even delves into much of the content in this book, such as the Jungian and CBT concepts, and outside of a Joseph Campbell book, I have not encountered anything that suggests even deals with metaphors, let alone use of them in therapy.

While I agree that the concepts may be covered in a basic first-year master's-level theories course, they have yet to be incorporated into any sort of summary book beyond that very class. In essence, once a student graduates with his theory, he probably will never see this stuff again so it makes for a nice reminder. Also, the concepts may be basic but a well-integrated therapist can use the techniques presented in this book because although they are rooted in their theories of origin, they are largely atheoretical and thus can be used effectively regardless of orientation. For instance, I consider myself to be primarily a reality therapist yet I frequently utilize REBT and analytic psychology because my clients can grasp it. This book provides an effective example as to how I can go about doing that.

In summation, I do not believe that the title is "way way off" simply because no other book claims to offer advanced techniques. I supposed when a trout is the only fish in the pond, it can call itself a shark until a real shark comes along (see, there's a metaphor!).

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2012 6:52:07 PM PDT
Jacob - thanks for your take on my review. Much appreciated! There is wisdom in crowds!
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