For the last three months, I have been studying psychoanalytic approaches to psychotherapy. It’s been interesting, and there are certainly some elements that I can see being useful to some clients. However, there is something about the approach that jars with who I am.
I am pleased, therefore, that for the next three months I’ll be moving on to read more about existential therapy: the kind I eventually plan to practise. I had anticipated enjoying it, but when I started reading this book I had a settling feeling, like coming home. Read more
Following on in the genre of reading books about how much therapists can learn from their clients, as well as the other way round, I picked up On Learning from the Patient by Patrick Casement from the library the other day. Read more
I picked this book up thinking that it would be about the temperament of the therapist, rather than of the client. I was wrong, but it was interesting anyway. Read more
I had a double-edged reaction to Minding Spirituality by Randall Lehmann Sorenson when I read it the other day. On the one hand, I am very interested in the interplay between spirituality, meaning, psychology and mental health.
On the other, it sometimes felt like this book tried too hard to be an impressive feat of intellectual prowess, rather than simply commenting on the (very interesting) themes it contained. Read more
Thinking Space is both a book title and an event which takes place at the Tavistock Centre in London. I’m not sure if it’s still going on because I’m not studying there, but it sounds like a great concept: people getting together and discussing important and important topics. Read more
Faces in a Cloud looks at four major psychoanalytic theorists (Freud, Jung, Reich & Rank) in the light of their personal backgrounds. It starkly reminds us that we are never truly objective, and that the theories we come up with are informed by who we are and where we came from. Read more
Helplessness by Martin Seligman is a book I read back when I was a teenager, and all I could remember about it was that it had made me angry for a couple of reasons: (1) the animal experiments it described; (2) the way it seemed to be saying “Just stop being depressed! Simple!”
Re-reading it, I enjoyed it more. Partly because I have a better appreciation for reading things I don’t entirely agree with; and partly because (probably for the same reason) I don’t think Teenage Scar gave it enough of a chance. Read more
A Healing Conversation: How Healing Happens by Neville Symington aims to answer the question of why therapy works. What is it about sitting in a room with another person, telling them stuff you already know, that makes you ultimately feel better? Read more
I’m reviving something I have done only once before, in 2016: the ‘biographies’ category of the book reflection posts, because I read some great ones this year and the non-fiction section was already looking pretty full. Read more
I read more non-fiction than fiction this year, I think, and a lot of the non-fiction I read was excellent. It’s been difficult to pare it down to a few that I liked the most, but here they are. Read more