Robert Schreur, LCPC, PhD-Lit - Psychotherapy
My Blog

Recent therapy books I've read and enjoyed

Wilfred Bion,  Attention and Interpretation  (Jason Aronson).  I find Bion very difficult and often inscrutable, but I keep coming back to him.  I admire how honestly he attempts to apply his intellect to understanding the work of being together with a patient in psychotherapy.

William Lindsay Gresham,  Nightmare Alley  (New York Review Books Classics).  Not a book about therapy, and maybe the most misanthropic novel I've ever read.  A pulp classic that Milton Erickson said every therapist should read.

"Therapy can do many things."

I recently came across this list in Robert Karen's book from 1994,Becoming Attached.  He writes that "Therapy can do many things," and then launches into a sentence containing seven semicolons.  I'll break the sentence into bullet points:

  • It can provide a new model of what a close relationship can be;
  • it can teach one to reflect on feelings, events, and the patterns of one's own behavior in a way that one was unable to do before;
  • it can compensate to some degree for nurturing experiences one never had as a child;

Talk

Today'sNew York Timeshas an eloquent opinion piece on pscyhoanalysis called "Freud's Radical Talking" by a Columbia graduate student, Benjamin Y. Fong: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/freuds-radical-talking/

Fong nicely describes how psychoanalysis provides an open field in which two (or more) sides of ourselves can be safely welcomed and heard. While psychotherapy is not psychoanalysis, that is where its roots are.  And even when psychotherapy is focused on problem-solving and coping-strategies, its value, Fong implies, runs deeper, providing open spaces for change and growth.

Psychotherapy in movies and fiction and on TV

Here are some of my favorite depictions of psychotherapy in movies and books and on TV:

Film:
"Spellbound," directed by Hitchcock.  A strangely wooden representation of classical American psychoanalysis, with with moments of great depth and beauty.  My favorite scene is the conversation on the train between Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.  

"What About Bob?"  Bill Murray can be hilarious just standing perfectly still, and he does much more than that in this film.

"Does Couples Therapy Work?"

Last Sunday's  New York Times(May 4, 2012) included an interesting article on couple's therapy, "Does Couple's Therapy Work?"  It began, in good journalistic fashion, by claiming that it is "an open secret" that "couples therapy stresses therapists out."  It made me wonder if writing about psychotherapy stresses journalists out.  For myself, I have have found couples therapy to be some of the most rewarding and invigorating work I do in my practice.
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Recent Posts

Recent therapy books I've read and enjoyed
"Therapy can do many things."
Talk
Psychotherapy in movies and fiction and on TV
"Does Couples Therapy Work?"
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