Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On without Wasting Time or Money Paperback – October 2, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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
"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
"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 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
"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
"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
"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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.
The lines between therapy and other processes, such as coaching, often seem quite blurred. For instance, one case study describes a man who has trouble getting along with a family member. It's hard to say whether he needed communication skills versus understanding of patterns. Tools used by professionals, such as the DSM-IV and many tests, have been questioned and criticized. Some approaches have been found to be useless when tested by research.
The book's discussion of barriers to therapy focus on finances as well as the prospective patient's resistance. There is still some stigma around therapy, although it's fading. More important, people resist what social psychologists call altercasting, i.e., assigning an identity to someone else. Clients are equals; patients are one-down.
A few years ago, a friend experienced death of a close relative. When I encouraged her to seek some kind of support, she was concerned that a clinician would put a label on her, such as "depressed." She didn't want to be a patient or get a "diagnosis." She wanted to get on with her life. She started working with a coach but (urged by friends, including me) kept a list of therapists handy. Over a year later, she's doing well. This fear seems to represent as large a barrier as money.
Finally, although the book offers some excellent guidelines for those who really need therapy (as opposed to coaching or casework), I can't help wondering how realistic some suggestions are. A person who's feeling depressed or inadequate will have trouble standing up to a therapist.
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. Also the book suggests if aren't up to the task, a family member or friend can step in and help you make the decision. In fact, a parent or friend of someone looking for a therapist can read this book and learn how choose a therapist for someone who maybe isn't up to the task and give them support while they are in therapy.
Also, the part about how and when therapy should end, was crucial. Apparently, therapy actually has to end sometime and the therapist should be discussing this right from the outset. An important point.
If you've been burned in therapy or want to avoid being burned, this is a helpful read.