THEIR FINEST HOUR
by Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson
Published by Crown (firstname.lastname@example.org) at £16.99. 377 pages. ISBN 978-184590-088-5.
24 therapists – including well-known names such as William Glasser and Albert Ellis – detail in this heavy tome their most professionally rewarding cases and share what they learnt from them, as well as describing how the therapies work.
Interestingly, the authors previously wrote Bad Therapy about famous therapists’ worst sessions and what they learned from them, and The Mummy at the Dining Room Table about their most bizarre or unusual cases.
Each chapter detailing a client session starts with a description of the therapist recounting it, so that you are reassured about their qualifications, practices and conclusions. I would think this book has a wider readership than professionals alone, as each session is a fascinating insight into the human nature hiding under facades.
I had tears in my eyes as I read Michael Yapko’s deceptively simple solution which was a turning point for a client so resigned to death he neither spoke nor moved. There were tears of sadness, too, for Susan Johnson’s client who tried to become invisible through anorexia to escape memories of childhood abuse, and for her husband as he heard her story with the therapist. And there was admiration for Peggy Papp who dealt with a family which refused to reveal secrets, by instead addressing the effects of those secrets – then the family members spoke to each other. This is a superb read.
DEIRDRE BOYD is editor of Addiction Today.